Friday, September 30, 2011

Adoption Update: 1

Today we scheduled our first visit with our social worker, Lisa. Under normal circumstances it'd be a little weird telling folks you are "meeting with a social worker", but nothing about adoption is normal. Plus, we are way past the point of caring what anyone thinks. So, next Saturday we will meet her at a local restaurant for our initial consult. AND THEN our actual in-home interview is set for Saturday, November 5. That's like the "Make it Or Break It" of all the interviews. And it's in our home. And it's 6 hours long. I just pray my kids don't lose their minds during those 6 hours. Also? I'm still putting my Christmas tree up in October. I just hope she doesn't think I'm a lunatic.

You guys, it's about to get real all up in here.


Ps: thank you all for joining us on this journey. Whether you donate, pray for us, or just enjoy reading about it, I sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart. Our child is out there right now, waiting for mommy and daddy. I pray God is preparing his/her little heart/mind/body/spirit for us as He prepares ours for them. Srsly. It's about to get real up in here.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sticks. And Fairs. And Free Biscuits.

 Anybody else dread the State Fair? The crowds, the overpriced parking fees, the heat, the germs, etc? MP once dubbed it (correctly) “The Armpit of Mississippi” and that pretty much sums it up. HOWEVER, you cannot hate the fair IF your children have been before and look forward to it every year. (Thanks, Phil, for taking Bebe last year. I love how she asks about goin’ to the “Fater” EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.)

Actually, you CAN still hate it, but you cannot avoid it. I think that’s where I am. I don’t look forward to the crowds of people, but I’ll do just about anything to see my kids happy. Oh, and for free biscuits. True, I AM a little excited about the food. CP loves to eat. Simple as that. And errybody knows that the best foods in the world all come from the fair and are served on sticks.

Think about it, corndogs, chicken, popsicles, beef kabobs, candy apples, etc. I even had a fried Twinkie one year ON A STICK. Ok, admittedly it was pretty disgusting, but I had a theme going. Oh, wait- how do you eat sushi WITH A STICK. And how do you toast marshmallows? IMPALED ON A STICK. Game. Set. Match.

 Now I feel like camping. Because I sort of inadvertently implied s’mores. Also? Maybe I should have eaten breakfast.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"Paper Pregnancy" Craving

Every part of me wants Taco Bell right now.

I blame it on being "paper pregnant".

That's all.

(and no, I'm not PREGNANT pregnant, but yes. We are expecting a third child. Thru uh-dop-shun)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Random: Part Deuce

“It takes a lot of effort to appear this effortless” – Me (on being the domestic goddess that I am)

“Awe, EXIT!” – Bebe (on dropping her toy out of reach on the floorboard)

“Daggum it, Mama. I luf you.” – Swaid (he steals hearts)

Whatever happened to Bel Biv Devoe?

I really want to own some “crime scene” tape. Really.

Why don’t I get candy when I pee in the potty?

If I put my Christmas tree up before the social worker comes, will she think I’m crazy? Or will she appreciate it as much as I do?

I wonder if my internet friends stalk me as much as I stalk them?

Leaving Jerry’s Catfish one night I noticed a young couple standing in front of my van. On impulse I pulled out my key, set the alarm off, and laughed til I almost cried when they jumped. MP was proud.

If I were Ms Universe, my platform would be “Adopt All”. First, every child would be adopted and THEN every adopted child would be given an adopted puppy/kitten/etc; thereby, ridding the world of all adoption needs. BAM. I just created World Peace.

My hair really is fantastic.

Email From UGA Atty!!!

Ok, guys. I’m about to jump out of my SKIN. I just received an email from our Attorney in UGA and it in is a request for our completed Home Study so, and I quote, “A REFERRAL IN YOUR AGE BRACKET CAN BE MADE.” Now, I realize I may be overreacting here, but to me this says, “Hey, we have some kids that need homes and we’d love to consider you, but we need yo paperwork.” Exciting, no? YES!

If that doesn’t light a fire under your butt, I DON’T KNOW WHAT WILL.

Only the problem is…..We haven’t completed our home study yet. Mainly because we just made our initial trip to Uganda and because it costs $2,500.00. And also because it is very time consuming. And oh, it’s $2,500.00. The breakdown is as follows:

Fingerprints (new FBI system) $150 Due now
Administration fees: $450 Due on first visit (likely within 1 week!)
Home Study Fee: $1400 Due on second visit (likely within 2 weeks!)
Post Placement Visits: $470 Due before the report can be finalized

We had our fingerprints done several months ago, but failed to send them off because the fingerprint machine was jacked up and there was almost a 90% chance they’d be rejected. Our home study agency emailed me today and advised the FBI had a new fingerprinting system where you make an appointment and have it submitted electronically and results are back in like 2 days. WHICH IS CRAZY, AND UNHEARD OF, IN THE ADOPTION WORLD. Most people wait MONTHS to get FBI results in.

Step 1: Put the FUN in FUNdraising. (Since, we don’t have $20k lying around). Please order some crosses, beads, and how much can I get for my other kidney?!
Step 2: Visit UGA. CHECK
Step 3: Complete Homestudy.
Step 4: Accept a referral for our child. OMG. I HAVE BUTTERFLIES.
Step 5: Bring them home and love on the forever (this is where it’s all gumdrops and apple trees)
Step 6: Complete the adoption in our home state…blah…blah..blah, let’s go back to Step 5

So. Marty will finish all the remaining cross orders this week and if you’ve prepaid (Jennifer, Amanda, Laurie, etc) I’ll have them to you by the weekend. We’re ready to make a fresh batch and only need to sell about 1,334 at $15 each to have this thing FUNDED! Also, I’ll be posting some paper bead necklaces purchased in UGA. They are BEAUTIFUL and $15 each. Also, they make great gifts as well!!!


We need to raise $2500 to have our home study completed STAT so we can officially receive the referral of OUR THIRD CHILD. (I really like saying that) After that, we need to raise the following:

$4,500 Legal Fees
$8,500 Airfare
$1,000 Immigration
$1,500 Lodging/meals/transportation in country
$2,000 Miscellaneous (Medical immunizations, certified documents, overnight FedEx services, etc)


And I’m not too proud to accept a good old fashioned donation. Or Skymiles. And prayer. Lots and LOTS of prayer.

Friday, September 23, 2011

It’s Fall (ish), Y'all...

We are quickly approaching my most favorite time of the year. The October-November-December months mark the 4th trimester of 2011 and I CAN. NOT. WAIT. October brings the Canton Flea Market, hunting season, football, the State Fair, Pumpkin Patches, Trick-or-Treating and, in my house, A CHRISTMAS TREE. November? It is equally awesome what with all the Starbucks Pumpkin Lattes, more football, more hunting, William Sonoma’s Peppermint Hot Chocolate, Mistletoe MarketPlace, Thanksgiving, Black Friday Sales and of course, my birthday. And then December basically speaks for itself. Hello, Christmas? New Year’s Eve? Day After Christmas Sale?

It’s like a trifecta of AWESOME.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

And The Panic Sets In…..

Home Study expenses. Legal expenses. Airfare.

A third child.

I know the Lord provides, but I’d be lying if I said I was stressing out about how to bring him/her/them here.

The Lord has never failed us. He has never led us somewhere He didn’t intend us to be. He didn’t help us get out of debt in an unfathomable amount of time only for us to sink back in for this adoption. I know this, yet I cannot get my head wrapped around it. The human in me would feel much better if we had the money already sitting in a pretty little account, but I know that wouldn’t require us to act in faith. We know we are called to adopt. In HIS time, not ours. I need to work on being patient. And fundraising. But mostly on being patient. I keep reminding myself that we are acting in, what we believe, is His will. And For us? We feel called to adopt. Regardless. I’ll leave the details to Him.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Just Wait....

This time next year, we are going to have three children. God willing.

This time next year, I’ll be ordering another Pottery Barn Kids Christmas stocking. For our third child.

Three. Children.

Will it be our boy, Summit? Or will it be our girl, Whitley? OR BOTH.

Four? Children?

My breathing pattern just got a little erratic. And I may have just died for a minute.

I’m teetering on the border of Fantasy and Reality right now. In my mind, three kids is gonna be all rainbows and unicorns. Everyone gets along, no one whines and they all love broccoli. And sleeping in their own beds. In fact, in MY mind, teeth brushing is THE.GREATEST.THING.EVER, they put themselves to bed at 8pm sharp and CANNOT wait for school the next day.

But then I’m slapped backed into reality when the two kids we already have start whining, pinching and crying because kid A doesn’t want to watch Dora while Kid B thinks that Dora hung the moon and wants to run off and marry her when he’s old enough. Kid A thinks Dora is stupid and prefers Hannah Montana or Wizards of Waverly or something that Kid B doesn’t quite understand. Kid B pinches Kid A because Kid A has suddenly decided to ride the Dora 4 wheeler that may or may not even belong to Kid B, but he’s convinced it does so he pinches Kid A. Kid A tells, Kid B gets punished and Kid A gloats about it. Kia A gets sent to her room for gloating. This all happens before dinner so naturally no one is hungry anymore. Until bedtime. Then suddenly it’s like no one’s thirst can be quenched EVER. And I tell myself, that this? Is reality for now because just wait- next year, WE’LL HAVE THREE OF EM.

But then they apologize and hug me. They sing me songs. We snuggle together, read books, tuck them in and say their prayers. My heart is happy and then I remember that this? Is reality for now because just wait- next year, WE’LL HAVE THREE OF EM.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Adoption Option

I’ve made no secret that we have tossed around the idea of “Adoption” for a little while now. That word alone evokes all kinds of emotions and my mind conjures up the picture of a Word Cloud. Do you remember those? Well, the one in my head says the following:


Like, Crazy Expensive!
Time consuming
Home Study

But it also says:

James 1:27
I was adopted thru Christ
Big enough house
No valid reason not too

Since our visit to Uganda, MP and I both feel like adoption is meant for our family. And we are fortunate enough to be able to afford a third or even fourth mouth the feed, clothe, school, care for, marry off one day, etc. The problem is the Initial Expense. I don’t have $20k lying around. But what I do have is a crazy talented husband, amazing friends, & some creativity. Also, I’m resorting to soliciting. I have no shame.

I’ve listed the crosses on Etsy (btw, no orders have been forgotten we just couldn’t make them before our trip- MP is working on the remaining orders now). Please consider these crosses for Christmas Gifts, birthday gifts, Hey-Look-It’s-Tuesday! gifts, etc. I’ll also be working on a tee shirt to sell ($25) AND I’m working on a “Best Of” type Facebook Quote book. It’s just a little lighthearted funny book of Facebook posts ($15). Oh, and Ugandan paper beaded necklaces. We bought some in Uganda to sell for our adoption ($20 per necklace).

So far, we’ve been able to cut our expenses at home by the following:

1- A strict weekly budget. I don’t like this one. At all.

2- I cut out my beloved Keurig coffee because I drink a lot of coffee and its expensive- I’m back to the old coffee pot now but saving $40 month. This one cut me LIKE.A.KNIFE.

3- We don’t have a gym membership or home phone to cut, so our utilities are pretty standard. Except cable. We haven’t canceled that, but I’m seriously tempted. Except our kids might stage a revolt against us.

4- Brown bagging it. We’re trying to limit our eating out to Sunday lunch only. Even then it is usually someplace where one or both kids eat free.

5- Oh! We have a boat for sale! I’ll ask MP to do a guest post soon about that. He’s the boat guy.

6- Our cell phone plan is about as cheap as we can go, so that’s not really an option and we have to keep internet at home.

7- I’ve been trying to remember to adjust our thermostat before leaving the house to cut costs as well.

8- Christmas gifts are being bought on a weekly basis as our budget allows. Santa has been asked to limit the number of gifts he brings this year.

9- I’m a couponer.

If you have ANY suggestions as to how to raise the money OR any ideas on cutting our monthly expenses, please let me know!


Friday, September 16, 2011

The Uganda Diaries: Volumes 2-6: The Cliff’s Notes Version

It’s too difficult to try and blog daily events at this point. I’m not a journaler so all my days seem to be running together now. This was a truly incredible trip, one I pray ALL Americans could take at least once in their lives. You cannot leave unchanged. Unless you’re heartless. Or a robot. Or a zombie. I hope you’re not.

 During my trip, several things occurred:
1.      Friendships were formed without pretense. No one had “walls” up. No one felt like they didn’t belong. There was honesty and transparency and we even talked about poop, like Day 1. We were all there for the same purpose and worked together as any good team should. Lifelong friendships were made last week.
2.      Someone tried to give me her children. True story. A Muslim lady that lived across the street from the guest house where we were staying actually tried to give us her children. With tears in her eyes, she begged me and MP to take 4 of her 5 boys to America. For her she knew they'd have a better life and she loved them enough to give them up. Heartbreaking.
3.      Ugandans don’t tiptoe around issues. We saw signs as follows: “STOP Child Sacrifice”, “Parents: STOP Giving Your Children Alcohol. It is not good for Them.”, “Prevent Unwanted Pregnancy: Breastfeed”, “STOP Something for Something Love”, “These Cigarettes Will Kill You”. Seriously, there is no reading between the lines here.
4.       Flying internationally on the 1oth Anniversary of 9/11 in a plane that will be flying directly over Abu Dhabi WILL result in you getting molested/frisked. Tomato/Tomahto
5.      Do not trust a Mr. Tastee “chicken” sandwich. Ever. Good things do not follow ingestion of a Mr Tastee (alleged) chicken sandwich.
6.      “Going to the market to get chicken” does NOT mean, “running to Kroger to get some prepackaged boneless, skinless, chicken breasts.” It means, “stopping at a roadside stand and buying 5 LIVE chickens tied together at the feet and tossed into the floorboard of your vehicle.”
7.      Nice Bumper Stickers. Because in America we have peeing Calvins.
8.      Modesty. Ladies wore knee length skirts/dresses. Men wore pants. At their waists. Every day. Everywhere. No exceptions. I never, not once, saw a butt crack or a boob. It was nice.
9.      Ugandans don’t sleep. Like, Ever.
10.   Roosters have no respect for sleep.

Oh, and when you arrive home everyone will ask you, "Did it make you appreciate America?". For me the honest answer is, "no." It makes me see how wasteful and selfish we are. I recognize that we are spoiled nation and as a people, we make mountains out of molehills far too often. It makes everything here seem silly, trivial, and just frivolous. We whine about "what to wear" and complain about waiting 2 hours at MEA (guilty), but after having spent the night with an orphan in a Ugandan hospital I am ashamed to have ever complained about anything. It makes me long for the simplicity of life in Africa. Granted, I wouldn't decline a washing machine or running water, but it certainly does put things in perspective.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Uganda Diaries: Volume 1

Today is our first day out in the “Mission Field”. Today we visited M1. If you’re not familiar with the M1 facility, please check out for more details.
Today I met “V”. “V” is a fifteen year old girl who had been dropped off by her father only 1 week prior for being “stubborn”. He mother had come to see her after a few days and declared her to be “too unkind” to come home yet. So she left her there for one month. This is not a juvenile detention center in Jackson, MS. This is a literal prison. For children. With prison cells and bars. Some kids have committed crimes of theft, some have been dropped off by parents for various reasons, some have been the unfortunate step-children to a modern day Cinderella story, some have been at the wrong place at the wrong time, some have been found abandoned and taken here by strangers, but none actually deserve to live like this.
So many things were revealed to me today. These kids have the kind of faith that I envy. They have nothing but the love of Christ Jesus and that’s all they need. I expected to see kids moping around in a state of despair, but I didn’t. These kids, although unhappy in their environments, have hope. They worshipped in a way I have never been able to do. They sang songs of praise in such a heartfelt manner that I could only cry as I listened.
I still haven’t quite processed it all. I need time.