Thursday, March 23, 2017


Every quarter the DAP (adoption people) in our little boy's country shuts down and does not accept any new adoption family files during that time.  The DAP issues travel dates for families. All of our paper work was in country except our USCIS approval. It was on its way to us, but we didn't know if it would get here in enough time for us to get it to our little boy's country before the shut down.  It came Monday! I hurried and got it notarized, apostille,d and sent it off. It needed to be in country one week before the shut down for us to have a chance at being submitted. Our document reached Ukraine the end of yesterday, and today we received the news that we had been submitted! I wasn't expecting it to be that fast. So many little miracles. Now we wait for travel dates. This usually happens in 4-5 weeks but, things have changed over there, and we are not really sure how this new change will affect travel dates. We are getting so close!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Be Still

The last couple of weeks have been  a great test of faith.  In order for us to adopt internationally, we had to get approval from USCIS (Immigration). In the adoption world we call this the golden ticket.  There are certain requirements that they look for. They want to make sure you are suitable to adopt and that you can care for the child once you bring them home.  I called to see if we had been assigned an officer and we had. I talked to her and she told me that I would be getting a request for evidence in the mail in about 10-21 days! My heart sunk! wait NO!!! not a pink slip!!! this is the dreaded slip that we as adoptive moms worry about getting,and it was happening to us.  She would not tell me on the phone what it was about. She just said that they had a question and she doesn't have good luck explaining it over the phone and I would just have to wait! She has no idea what torture that is to an adoptive mom. I had to wait 3 weeks to find out what she wanted???  do they not understand we want to get to our children? I  admit it I was a mess!! I was so fearful of the outcome. My mind was taking me to the worst case scenario. the one where I get the answer that our application was denied. I thought of every possible thing that could be wrong. Then the I started to doubt. I started to doubt the on who brought this to us. The one who said "go" the one who said  "I will make a way for you. Have faith, trust in MY PLAN, I will not leave you."  yep, I started to doubt God. I didn't want to hear from others that it was all in God's timing and that there must be a  reason. Just have faith! I have said those exact words to others during hard times, but today they were not comforting to me. Have faith?? I don't have faith, and I don't understand any of this. I spent the next couple of days with a fearful heart. I was choosing fear and a whole lot of pain! I found myself on my knees many times begging for a miracle! I was sitting at  try the park one day praying for some kind of comfort and peace. I don't know about you, but the Lord often times answers my prayers through music. This song came on the radio by Hillary Scott.


                I believe that You were God alone
                But sometimes I still try to take control
                ‘Cause I get scared when I can't see the end
                 And all You want from me is to let go

                 You're parting waters
                  Making a rain for me
                  You're moving mountains that I don't even see
                 You've answered my prayer before I even speak
                All You need for me to be is still

                I bring my praise before I bring my need
               ‘Cause there's no fear You've not already seen
                I rest my heart on all Your promises
              ‘Cause I have seen and know Your faithfulness
              And know that You are God

             Be still
            And know that You, trust that You are parting waters
             Lord, You whispered my name
            Oh, You answered my prayer
             You're moving mountains
How many times do we try to control things in our lives that are out of our control?  when we can't see the end we question and we faith in the one that brought us to this point in our lives.  and all he wants for us is to LET GO and to BE still. I was also reminded that he never promised me that once I started on this journey that it would be easy, he never said there wouldn't be times of pain and sorrow, but he did promise that he would be with us every step of the way.  There is a talk that I have listened too many time since we started this adoption and I love it so much. It is by Jeffery R. Holland titled "Cast not away therefore your confidence."    
I love his words "Fear ye not.” And when the second and the third and the fourth blows come, “fear ye not. . . . The Lord shall fight for you.” “Cast not away therefore your confidence.”

I called our officer and asked her if she would please just tell me what it was about and she was very nice and apologized for worrying me. She was confused about my income from being a Host parent because it isn't taxed, and she didn't understand what it was. I remember thinking to myself  "is that all? I worried for a whole week and that is all she wants?" I had the information she wanted and was able to send it in right away. Yesterday,  I saw the USCIS number come through and I am pretty sure my heart stopped beating and I forgot to breath as I answered the phone. She very business like,  informed me that she was able to approve us and it was already in the mail! We are moving forward again. One step closer. ONE GIANT step closer to having him in our arms. 
 BE STILL and KNOW that I AM God!

Friday, March 3, 2017

A mother's heart

     I woke up this morning to the sound of falling snow. If you listen closely, snow does have a sound. It is a peaceful quiet sound as if all the earth has stopped. I could see the tiny snow flakes in the light of the street lamps, dancing as they weightlessly drifted to the ground. Each one spoke to me a message of love and peace. A message that all is well. I have wanted to share my heart for a while now, yet I just can't seem to find the words to describe how I feel about orphans.  Many ask why we are adopting. I have heard comments such as"you have enough children". "You can't save them all". . "why would you want to do this. This child will always be with you. what about retiring you will never have time to do things". "what about your other kids, it's not fair to them". These comments may be innocent, but it doesn't make them any less painful.
     Others cannot begin to understand my heart unless they have experienced what I have experienced.  How it feels to yearn to hold a once forgotten  little boy that is on the other side of the world.  Let me start from the beginning. I was 14 years old when I was touched be the lives of 3 children with special needs. I was drawn to these children who were in my neighborhood and attended church with me. I remember feeling so much love when I was around them. I was asked by their family if I wanted a summer job taking care of them. I was so excited to spend my summer days with these children. I learned so much from them. I learned very quickly what to do when they had a seizure, I learned that people can be cruel and that they didn't understand the world of special needs, and  I learned how to run really fast when they would take off down the road HAHA!!  Most of all I  learned that love wasn't what I thought it was. I knew that God had blessed my life by bringing those kids into my world. As time went on and I continued to go through my teenage years, my passion for kids with special needs grew.
     When I was a senior in high school I got a job at a care center for children with special needs. I sadly learned the truth of what these families were going through. There just  wasn't any support for families at that time and so a lot of children were cared for outside of the home in care centers. I woke up  everyday excited to see those kids. I had so many wonderful experiences while I was working there. I saw things that broke my heart, children who had been abused, children who had been abandoned, families who came to see their children and left in tears. They felt hopeless and longed to care for their children, but circumstances made it difficult for them to do so. Most of all my heart hurt for the ones with no family. I wanted to take them home and show them what love was and what it felt like to have a family.
    I had big dreams back then. I used to lay in bed at night and imagine what my life was going to be like. I would get married to a wonderful man and together we would adopt all these beautiful children that were invisible to most. Well, life didn't really go as planned, and my dream eventually faded until I had completely given up on it.  Until, years latter when I gave birth to my fourth child. A little girl that would change so many lives. Mariah came into this world with a little something extra. Extra love, Extra compassion, Extra grace, Extra spunkiness, Extra courage. When I heard the words "your daughter has Down syndrome" My world was turned upside down in a beautiful way. Her story deserves its own post but, it is part of a bigger story.
    You see I remember searching one day on the Internet to find information on Down syndrome and a picture popped up on my computer screen, the face of  child, just like Mariah except this child was an orphan, living in an institution on the other side of the world. As I read about the lives of these children my heart broke into a million pieces. I knew I had to do something, but what? it seemed so BIG, so IMPOSSIBLE!! so I turned away. I walked away and never looked at those little pitiful lost faces again, until, a few years later I was on the computer doing the same thing and on my screen appeared a small little girl with Down syndrome who looked so lost, so distant. With tears streaming down my face I found myself clicking on her picture, and another picture and another, I read about the future of these children if they were not adopted. I read stories about courageous parents who had rescued these children and had given them a new  life. Parents who said "I see you, and I will climb every mountain to get to you." Again I felt very insignificant and small, compared to such a big, big need. but, this time I didn't turn a away. I couldn't turn away.
     I knew my husband at the time, did not share my passion but, I had to do something! I saved every penny I had and went on a mission trip to Bulgaria. (That too is another story deserving of its own post,) 6 years ago I found myself walking through the doors of a baby orphanage. Nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to experience. I had heard others describe the quietness of the orphanage,but you cannot fully understand it until you have experienced it. Have you ever walked into a daycare? or a preschool? what do you hear? the sound of little foot steps? the sound of children laughing, playing, maybe you hear the sound of music or the sound of crying babies? I heard nothing but silence, but the sound of my own breathing and our foot steps as we made our way up the cement stairs that led to a small room lined from wall to wall with cribs.(this is not a picture I took, but it is what I saw).

I wanted to run out of there. I wanted to shut my eyes from what I was seeing, and  pretend that it didn't exist. I was trying to hold back the tears. Afraid to let them see me cry. Afraid I would offend the care takers who a most of the time doing the best they can with what they know. I had heard earlier about a  little baby girl with down syndrome who had just arrived at the orphanage. She was a twin and because of the way her country sees children with Down syndrome her family felt like the only option for her was the orphanage. My friend asked me if I wanted to hold her. My mind was saying "no, no you don't want to hold her, turn around a walk out." But, I felt God gently nudging me closer to her until she was in my arms. her body felt so warm and small. I caressed the top of her head. Her hair felt like silk,  her eyes were distant as if she was in another world.  I whispered to her that she was beautiful and that I would spend the rest of my life changing the way the world saw her and Down syndrome.   Two and a half years ago a stinky lost 7 year old little girl in a urine saturated dress came into my life. That moment will always be etched in my heart. She walked in hold the  hand of the  director of the orphanage. I called her name and she came over to me, put both arms around my neck and kissed each of me cheeks as if to say "I have been waiting for you."  Before that day she was unknown to the world. Her cries were not heard, and she did not know the love a  mother. But I saw her, I saw her worth, her beauty,  her divinity. behind  the urine and rotten teeth smell I saw the light in her eyes and I knew that God had a purpose for her life. Her name is Ailey and her name means full of light or radiates light. And that is what she does everywhere she goes she shines her light.  Look what love can do.                                                                                                                   

Ailey Grace adopted from China in 2014

Katie Faith came to us after being here for a year. adopted in 2014

These are pictures my adoption mom friends have shared with me. They are why we do what we do.this is why we feel what we feel. 

They are why I adopt. Not because we need another child but, because another child needs us. He needs us.                                                                                                                                            

 Adoption is hard, It isn't always unicorns and rainbows. It is messy, unpredictable, exhausting. and at times it will bring you to your knees. It takes endurance, trust, and a whole lot of  faith. But, it is in those moments when I have grown closer to God. It is in those moment when I learn the most about who God is.                                                                                                                                             

 If you want to see what God sees, look into the eyes of an orphan.                     
If you want to know what God hears, listen to the orphans cry.                          
If you want to know what God feels hold an orphan in your arms.                     
If you want to know how to love as God loves, be a mother to an orphan.          

Friday, February 10, 2017

Update and New pictures

It has been one month since we started this crazy journey.  I don't even know where to start. We continue to learn about what it means to have faith. God continues to whisper words of encouragement and love. I feel him by our side as we take each step to reach this little boy who lives in an orphanage on the other side of the world. I am in awe as I reflect on the miracles that brought us to him. We have felt an urgency to move forward quickly. Things have been happening at lighting speed. We completed our home study and had our copy in one week! One week! usually this step takes 2-3 months.  We have completed our entire dossier and sent it to Ukraine except for our USCIS approval. Everything completed in one month! That just does not happen very often in the adoption world. We see God's hand in every step. Mountains just keep moving out of our way. USCIS sends an appointment time for adoptive  families to get FBI finger prints done. These appointments have a specific date and time. Our appointments ended up being on a day we were going to be in Disney land. We were a little frustrated because changing the appointment would delay the process, so we decided to take a chance  and walk in early and pray that they would let all 6 of us in. We only had a short amount of time because Makenley had to get back to school. There was a few people in line and I was a little worried they weren't going to let us. I explained our situation to the security guy and he said that he didn't think they would do it because there were so many of us. He came back a few minutes later and moved us to the front of the line! We were in and out within 30 minutes. Now we just wait for immigration approval and then we will be submitted to the adoption officials in baby boy's country to come and meet him. We have no idea how long this will take. USCIS is taking longer than normal to give approvals and Baby boy's country has added an extra step to the processes that is delaying families. We don't understand the changes they have made, They do not make any sense. These changes are making the process longer and harder. But, we will keep fighting. We will keep climbing the mountains that are put in front of us and jumping through all the hoops until we have him in our arms. This is the hardest part of adoption for me. I am  not good at waiting. Especially, when I don't have any control over any of it. During these times God continues to teach me about who he is.  The other day I received a recent video of our baby. That was such a treasured gift. I couldn't stop the tears as I watched his cute little face on the computer screen.  The love I feel for this little boy that I have never met is so hard to explain to those who have never adopted. I wish I could jump through the computer screen and hold him. I watch this video multiple times a day. I wish I could share it, but It has information on it that I cannot share yet. but, I can share pictures. I am not good at fund raising or asking for donations, so I am just asking for prayers. Prayers that we get USCIS approval within a month. Prayers for the families that are in country waiting for approval and prayers for us that are to follow that the process in  country will move quickly and that they will see what the love of a family does for these kids. Now for the best part pictures!!

Monday, January 23, 2017


Listen and take action. Those words have never rang so true to me in my entire life. I know that God has a plan for me as a son of him. He also has a plan for Angie and I. I have always had such a love for children I have 5 girls of my own and with our blended family  we have 13 in all. The way Angie and I and our beautiful children came together is nothing short of a miracle. Before I met Angie my kids and I were ignorant to children with special needs. We did not understand them or realize the beautiful spirits they are. I love them so much. Our family consist of 3 special needs kids and one more that I hope soon will be with us. I had a dream about 12 years ago. I remember it so vividly. It was about a little boy, he looked a lot like my daughet Makael. He had dark hair big brown eyes and was so happy. When my prior wife and I got pregnant with our last baby I was sure that it would be a little boy, the spirit had whispered to me that there is a baby boy in my life. When we found out the sex of our last child it was another girl Madaelen. I am so grateful for that little girl she has such an angelic energy to her. I could not help to wonder what was the purpose of the dream of a little boy. I soon forgot about the dream and let it go and decided that God will let me know what the meaning was in his time. One thing I have learned over the years is that God does things in his perfect time.

It was many years latter that I met Angie and learned about her passion for adoption and  helping out orphans all over the world. We had talk about her passion and even bringing another child into our family. It never seemed the right time. This last year in September I was inspired to apply for my passport. I had no plans to travel I just wanted it never thinking that I would need it this summer. About a month or so ago I was in the shower and a little boys name came to me. I got out of the shower an asked Angie do you know anyone named_____. She replied no. I then let it go.
I started to feel like Angie and I were to have a baby. I thought to myself NOOOOOOO. I don't even think we can we are old. HaHa. I quickly prayed to Heavenly Father and had an  overwhelming warm feeling. I new it was the spirit confirming what I had thought. I was in disbelief but learned that if Heavenly Father speaks I should have Faith. I causally talked about this with Angie and figured if it was meant to be Angie will get pregnant.
It was just a short time ago that I got a text from Angie and she sent me a picture of this beautiful baby boy brown hair and what looks like to me as brown eyes. The spirit was overwhelming the answer to my dream was here. It is my little boy. I was in such a daze. It did not make any sense to my mind but I have learned over the years that when I listen to my spirit have nothing to fear and all will turn out for the highest good for everyone. So we did it we are committed to this little boy. We are committed to this little boy whom sits in orphanage in Eastern Europe waiting for his Mommy and Daddy and all of his sisters and brother. God put this little boy in our life and we are stepping up to do our part to provide him with the best earthly experience possible for him. Our family is so close and has a lot of love to give him.I have only seen 2 pictures of him and have grown to love him so much. All of Angie's and I kids are so excited to have him come home. They are excited to have a brother. I am excited and honored to have my first son. We started this process a few weeks ago and everything has gone smooth and incredible fast. I am grateful for all of your support and kind remarks may God bless and watch over this little boy and bring him home
Love and Light

Monday, January 16, 2017

Jump of faith!

    I didn't think I would be on another adoption journey, but God had a different plan.  I haven't thought about adoption for a few years,but lately I have found myself running into adoption home coming stories or logging onto face book to see the faces of waiting orphans. Once again my heart broke for all the waiting children around the world. Children who are lying in cribs staring at the same four walls day after day. Children who's fate was chosen for them because they were born with Down syndrome or other special needs.
My heart broke for all the courageous moms and dads who had to make the decision to give their child a better life.
  A few days later I was standing in the bathroom getting ready for the day, and I had this overwhelming feeling that there was a child that needed us. I tried to convince God we were not the ones to go on this journey again. I tried to tell him that it was exhausting and hard and it just wasn't going to work. I asked him to take this feeling from me. A few days later I called Cianna into my room to tell her about our surprise trip to Disney land. I told her I had a surprise She looked at me with this excited look on her face and said "Your going to the orphanage to bring home a baby brother?" I told her NO! but we are going to Disney land. her excitement turned into disappointment and she said "that's okay too I guess but, please go and get me a brother." I continued to tell God NO! and he kept saying YES! I was in the car with Mariah and she was scrolling through my friends face book page. This friend had adopted a baby boy with down syndrome and Mariah loved him! she would watch the videos and look at the pictures of him everyday. she looked at me said "Mom, you need to buy me a brother." ( I guess she thinks we buy children lol.) I told her  that we were not going to buy a brother. she told me that she was sad because they are in an orphanage and they need a mom and a dad and I need to go get him right now!  By this time I was beginning to see God's plan start to unfold as he touched my heart through the words of my little girls. I told Jon about the experiences I was having and how I felt that we were supposed to help a little boy. He expressed to me that he had felt that the girls and I were right. He didn't know when or how but, he knew that he was supposed to have a son.(He will tell his side of the story in another post).  I tried to let it go thinking that maybe this would happen sometime in the future. We couldn't adopt from China because we haven't been married long enough so I thought we would just wait, but oh no! that was not God's plan I found myself messaging my friend and asking her about her adoption and telling her that we were feeling like we were supposed to adopt a baby boy with Down syndrome. A few minutes later she sent me this picture.  
My heart melted into a big puddle of tears as I studied  every part of his little face. His tiny little nose, and pretty lips. Oh how I longed to kiss his chubby little cheeks.  I knew without a doubt that this was the little boy we were to pursue. It seemed so crazy! Nothing about it made sense. I knew that others looking in would think we were crazy and wonder what would make us want to do this? God, that is what makes us want to do this, because he loves this little boy more that we could ever imagine and he has a plan for his life and part of that plan is for us to give him the gift of a family. It is a crazy Jump of faith not leap but, a huge jump into the unknown. God doesn't ask us to do easy things he pushes us beyond what we think we are capable of, and shows us who he is and how strong we really are.  I have prayed many prayers asking God to give us the strength to face all that lies before us.  A few scriptures came to me that replaced my fears with complete peace knowing that he is by our side.                                                                                                                                   
Joshua 1:9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous do not be afraid; do not be discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."
Proverbs 3:5-6  " Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding;In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."  
Many people have been praying for this little boy to find a family and we ask that you pray too. We have felt an urgency to get to him, and so we ask you to pray that the paper work process will run smoothly and quickly, and that any obstacles to us getting to him quickly will be removed. We have a  part of the funds but, are going to need to raise the rest,  if you feel prompted to  to help bring him home you can donate through our You Caring page at                                                                  or through Reeces Rainbow as soon as we get that set up. Thank you for your support and prayers as we embark on this journey.