Thursday, December 2, 2010

Whoever said...

Well, its been a month since I have posted anything. There are reasons for that. First, we participated in the Ordinary Hero fundraiser. I wanted my post about that to stay on the opening page of my blog for the month. Thank you so much for everyone who bought something. You are greatly appreciated!!

Second, there is really nothing else to post. We got our monthly call in November but there was really no news of which to speak. The Rwandan government has been in training meetings or something like that. I'm glad they are learning how to make everything better, I'm glad they seem to really care about the kids and realize that what they are doing affects a child's life tremendously. On the other hand, though, every day that passes without a referral affects a child's life tremendously, too!

It is a fine line I walk with my emotions every day. I don't want to blog about the hard times and then someone say, "look, adoption is too hard. I don't want to do it." But the truth is I have to vent sometimes.

Some days it is almost too hard to bare. Some days I don't want to look at another blog or even think about adoption because it hurts. Some days I avoid going in the nursery or even looking at it like the plague. Each holiday that comes up I wonder, will she be here for the next one? Some days I fear something is wrong with me because I can't stay excited all the time. Its just too hard. Then I feel guilty because I know there are people out there that have waited soooo much longer than I have. I just don't see any progress being made. I just don't feel like everyday that passes is one more closer to Clarissa. I know I'm wrong. I hope I'm wrong.

Whoever said, "no news is good news" was not adopting!

So, to sum it all up. There is no new news. Nothing has changed. We are still just waiting.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Wanna change the world? Or at least help out a friend...

November is here, and it is Adoption Awareness Month! YAY!!! What does that mean for you? It means a way to help out! Here's how...

Ordinary Hero is helping to raise funds for everyone's adoption. They have these really cool shirts for sale and for this month only if you buy one of those shirts 100% of the profits goes to help an adoption! How great is that?!?

Want to know how it works? Go here to the Ordinary Hero blog. Along the sidebar, there are pictures of all of the shirts. They use paypal so ordering is a snap.

You may find yourself saying, "That is a great idea! How much?" You can help us bring Clarissa home for the low, low price of only $24.95!! That's $10 for the cost of making the shirt, $10 for us, and $4.95 shipping/handling.

Now, the most important part...MAKE SURE IN THE NOTE TO SELLER, YOU PUT MY NAME AND CLARISSA'S NAME! (Jennifer, Clarissa) You want to make sure your money goes to the right place, don't you?

If you are still not convinced to buy a shirt, let me give you more reasons...

1. You love us. Come on, you know you do! What would your life be like without the Dockery's and who wouldn't want to help bring a new one home?!?

2. You need to get the uniform now while your purchase will help us out. What do I mean? Paul and I are working to spread what Ordinary Hero does to Chattanooga. We are going to change the world. Starting here! You don't want to show up to help not sporting the logo, do you?

3. If the clothes make the man, don't you want to be a man/woman/child who makes a difference? Each purchase gives $10 to our adoption.

4. When you wear the shirt you tell the world, I'm going to change the world! I'm going to make a difference and it challenges them to do the same. What in this world doesn't need a little changing?

WOW!! All of that in one shirt! AMAZING!! Don't delay this offer won't last long!!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Looking for mad mom skillz? Inquire elsewhere....

Mad mom skillz? I have none. Let me tell you how I found this out....

This Saturday, we were lucky enough to be able to participate in the Ordinary Hero Halloween Outreach 2010. Each child was paired with a volunteer, and was able to enjoy this wonderful fall festival at a church in Nashville. More about that in a bit. Right now, let's talk about how I'm in charge of making sure one gorgeous two year old little boy has fun.

First thing, he wants to get something to eat. So after asking what he wants, he tells me he wants pizza and juice. Wonderful...easy peasy. The pizza stand also has juice. Woot! Shortly after we order pizza, we had this conversation.

Me: What kind of juice do you want? (points out the juice)

Boy: Juice!

Me: Do you want grape juice, orange juice, or fruit punch?

Boy: Juice!!

Me: (trying to take a new angle) Do you want purple, orange, or red?

Boy: Juice!!!

Me: We'll take the fruit punch please.

Paul was so kind to point out later that I picked the only one of the three that was NOT juice!

Later, after eating, we are going to check out the very cool inflatable slides and jumping things. We get there and once he sees how big they are he decides he doesn't want to go up. I'm now trying to get his shoes back on. (You have to take your shoes off to do the inflatable thingies.)

Me: Ok, buddy, let me put your shoes back on. (I then proceed to lift his leg and just as swiftly...I knock him over. Flat on his back. Who knew toddlers would topple so fast?)

Then we went inside to find balloons. So while holding a coat, juice that is not juice, candy, and nachos, I try to tie a balloon to his arm. It took me three tries!! The first two attempts floated straight to the ceiling as soon as I let go.

Now...we have balloons...what next? He was a little too nervous to do the slides outside, so we did the games inside the church. He seemed to really enjoy these. As we are wondering around, we find a puppet show. What a great idea!! We could sit (I rest) and enjoy a puppet show. Now up to this point, all this little boy has said to me, is juice, yes, no, balloon, or candy. We go in to the puppet show and this is what follows...

Me: Ooh a puppet show! Where do you want to sit?

Boy: (looks around) I don't want to sit down!!

Wow, I guess the puppet show was not as good an idea as I thought.

At the end of the day, I find Paul and we team up. More snacks for the kids then to the swings. It takes Paul at least 5 minutes to get the balloons untied from my little boys arm so he can swing. In the meantime, I'm pushing his little girl. Finally, I say, "Are you ready to get off? Wanna go to the slides?" She says yes. What do I do? I stop pushing so she will slow down. After about 2 swings, she jumps! The swing comes back empty! Oh my!! She was fine, though.

I'm glad my home study is done and no one was judging me on yesterday! LOL So...I may need to work on my mad mom skillz before Clarissa gets home.

But seriously, yesterday was a wonderful day. God has been working on Paul and me so much lately. We want to do more. We want to give more. This was a great opportunity to help with this wonderful outreach, and to learn more about how to make outreaches like that happen here. Stay tuned because you are going to see more of Ordinary Hero!! We are praying, thinking, and planning. If you are a friend, family, or church member, be prepared. We are going to need help giving and serving. They'll be lots of opportunity heading your way.

I heard a song that says exactly what I'm feeling...

I don't wanna live like I don't care
I don't wanna say another empty prayer
No, I refuse to
Sit around and wait for someone else
To do what God has called me to do myself
Oh, I could choose not to move but I refuse!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What can I say?

Hmm, what to talk about....what to say. Still a couple of weeks til our next phone call. I don't have any kiddos yet to give me funny stories to talk about. My dog sleeps all day so he isn't giving me any stories either. Hmm...I know!

I going to this retreat!

I'm excited! It will be wonderful to meet other moms. I have to admit I'm a little nervous. I don't go places on my own. I go with Paul (hubby) or with some friends. So, I'm happy I'm going and I'm happy to get to meet the other moms but I'm also a little afraid I'll be lonely and won't make friends. I'm a little boring, I'm a lot a geek but at least we'll have adoption in common. Well, aside from my crazy musings, check out the website. Maybe buy a T-Shirt.

One more thing, check out the Shop for a Cause button I added to the blog. If you are already thinking about Christmas gifts, try to buy something that also gives back. Follow the link and you should get all the information you need.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Just a quick update....

We got an e-mail from AGCI (our agency) yesterday with an update on the progress in Rwanda. It said that the goal right now with MIGEPROF is to review one dossier a day and that their main focus is reviewing dossiers. This is wonderful news! This means that all the families that have been waiting so long (so so long) and those of us who have just joined the wait will be matched with our child soon. Soon being a relative term. :-) Some people might not consider 4 or 5 months soon but I'll take it!

I thought this wait would be easier. I felt so guilty during the paperwork process if we let a day go by and didn't work on something. I kept telling myself that once it gets to the point of being in someone else's hand I can just sit back and live just like I had been before. I was wrong. I have just gotten worse. The night we heard that Rwanda was closing its doors, we were in a state of panic. I searched websites and blogs and counted the hours til we would know for sure if we made it. Now that we made it, I worried constantly that putting the new standards into place would be their main focus and all the dossiers would be put to the side. When we got our September call, it was so early in the month, no one really knew what was going on. So again, I counted the hours til our October call. In the meantime, I would stay on the internet for hours looking for any tidbit of information that would let me know what they were doing over there. The searching and worrying has just gotten worse and now I'm just mad at myself. I have let the house go, meaning laundry and dished has piled and everything else you can think of. I cleaned some yesterday but I did it in such a bad mood. Why can't I let it go and just wait? Other people have done it, I should be able to do it too. When I start thinking about my wait, I feel so selfish because others have waited SO LONG before me. Its just a roller coaster of emotions. I may be going crazy, I don't know.

One thing I know for sure is I want worry about the wait one second when Clarissa is home!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

We got our first number!!


OK, OK, I know this seems like a big number to some of you, but here's the deal. The fact that we even have a number means our paperwork was accepted and registered in Rwanda. This is the ultimate conformation that everything is done and in order. We thought that we would actually have a bigger number so 136 is good with us. This information immediately resulted in songs being created starring the number 136 and a little bit of bouncing around the house.

We still don't really know a timeline. They are working on the dossiers but no one really knows how fast it will go. I just keep praying that if it doesn't mess up God's plan, I would prefer that He speed it along.

So, we got some information, but not a ton. Let's all just keep praying!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Want to hear something funny?

So let me give you some background. My husband, Paul, is 6'6 and two hundred and some odd pounds. (He's probably going to kill me for this post already. No need to tell you exactly how much he weighs.) This man is outgoing, opinionated, and stubborn. When he makes up his mind about something it usually stays made up unless there is hard proof that he should change his mind. Now don't get me wrong, he is a wonderful man and husband but we all know how are husbands can be sometimes. So, this husband of mine is an only child. This is something to keep in mind when I get to the funny part. OK, so let's fast forward a little.

When we were talking about having kids, I always said I wanted at least two. Paul, though, said one was enough. He liked being an only child and he said there was nothing wrong with it. Now, all throughout our marriage I have wanted to adopt and would randomly bring this up. I finally got him to say adoption would be fine after we had one of our own. There we are...two kids now. Let's fast forward just a little more now.

So, we found out it would be really hard, if not impossible, to have kids on our own. We start to adopt. Since almost the beginning of the process, we decided that we would be adopting two. I guess since the one of our own wasn't coming we could adopt two and still be sticking to the plan. Fast forward a touch more.

Just a few days ago I was talking about what we would do once we had bought into the Disney vacation club. Paul said, "we aren't ever going to buy into the Disney vacation club." What? That was the plan. Adopt two kids and then the next year (every how many years that is from now) and then buy into the Disney vacation club. He said, "if you see we have money from tax refunds or whatever, you are going to want to go back for another child."
"But we are only adopting two, right?" All I got after this statement was a sideways glance and a sheepish smile. I let this drop. It wasn't a good time to have a deep discussion. Deep down I chuckled and was very curious. Now fast forward just a little more.

So, once we were at home a couple of days later, I asked him about what he had said. "What are you thinking about? We always said we were going for two kids. How many are you thinking about now?"

Here is the funny part...."Oh, I don't know...four maybe." FOUR?!?!? Four? I just laughed. This from the man that started out at one. One was enough. LOL I guess this adoption process has changed his mind. Well I have to say this was a shocker to me. All I could say later was "If we are adopting four, we'll need to start fundraising and we are going to need a bigger house." Oh my! How God can change our minds.

Paul is probably going to kill me for this post. I just let out the secret that deep down he is just a big softie. I have more examples of him being a softie but I can't write a book on here. I can tell you this though, Clarissa will have him wrapped around her little finger before we ever get home from Rwanda. :-)

I love my husband!!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

What's going on?

So, every so often Paul will call me and tell me it's time for a new blog post. :-) He did that today. I said, "Really? About what?"

"I don't know but its time," he said. So here goes....Want to know what has been going on with us?

Saturday was my birthday. Some days I feel so young, others I feel so old. I turned 32. Hmm, 32, where did the time go? Paul made me a wonderful dinner and we spent some time with some good friends. I also got to see most of a Beth Moore simulcast. I couldn't believe how many friends took the time to wish me happy birthday on Facebook. It was a wonderful day!! (And it will be my last birthday without my daughter!!)

I promised pictures on the post where I was telling about the nursery so here they are...

This is the armoire....
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This is the doors of the armoire...
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This is the crib....
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I love the details of the crib...
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Crib back resize1

OK, I know I have told some people but I don't know if everyone knows her name or not, so I just want to let everyone her name. Her name will be....drumroll....Clarissa Jane!! *Trumpets here*

I have been collecting stuff for Clarissa for a little while now so here is a picture of her stuff....
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In there is a cute, pink lamp my aunt bought for her. The yellow dress is a Disney Belle costume I came across for free. I sure hope it fits! My mom got her the doll and the little pink princess purse. I bought the little bows for her hair. I went to a consignment sale intending on only buying non-clothing items but I couldn't pass up a few things. I have no idea how old Clarissa will be when she comes home but I bought a size a good bit ahead of what I'm thinking she'll be. The teddy bear in the back we will be taking with us when we go to pick her up. It is the softest bear I've ever felt. The beautiful, silver picture frame in the front is my newest edition. A friend bought it for me for my birthday. It has her name engraved on the top and she already paid for gotcha day and the date to be put on later. I loved it.

OK, if you have stayed with me this long, stay just a little longer. Paul and I bought some new shirts I wanted to show to everyone. We got them at You should definitely go check them out. They do wonderful things.

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my shirt back resize1

Paul's new shirt...
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I think I'm also going to take my birthday money and buy some other adoption T-shirts. I wish I could buy from every adoption fundraiser to get more children home! I'll post more pictures of our new t-shirts as we get them, so I can tempt all of my friends into buying some stuff. :) If you are reading this and have a t-shirt or fundraiser going on, please post a link in the comments. I sometimes forget where I see shirts I like and don't know how to get back to them.

I didn't think there was much going on but this turned into a huge post. I hope someone makes it to the end.

Hope everyone has a good week!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

10 years already?

Today is Paul and my 10 year anniversary! On one hand, I can't believe it has been that long, but on the other hand I feel really lucky we have made it this long. When I look around me, I feel like 10 years is something of which to be proud. I love my husband!! He is the greatest man ever (for me anyway :-) ). We have so much fun together and I love every moment I share with him. We have had our ups and downs. We have had so much fun traveling together, but we have also faced infertility head on. No matter what has happened to us, I would not trade one second of it. I can't imagine being with anyone else.

Every year I cook a new meal, something we have never tried, and we sit at the dining room table. This is different because we are normally in front of the TV. This year though, I was a bad wife. I postponed the meal so that I could get my mom to help with the nursery. I know, I know, our daughter won't be here for months, but I just couldn't help myself. She is in charge already and we don't even know who she is yet. LOL I'll post some pictures as soon as I find the cord for my camera. (I lose everything!)

So, we talked to Julie, our caseworker, on Wednesday and she told me that our paperwork was mailed to Rwanda on Tuesday. YAY!! She also said that with all the things that are going on right now it will take a few weeks to hear anything back. It doesn't matter to me where we are on the list, just that we are on the list! We don't have any clue on a timeframe, but that's OK.

Please continue to pray for the families that didn't make the deadline. They are going to have to make some tough decisions in the next few days and they are going to need lots of support. My heart breaks for them and I will be keeping them in my prayers!

Monday, August 30, 2010


Good news to report!! Our paperwork made it!! Our adoption will continue!!


I really believe that God heard our prayers and took care of us. On Thursday, there was no hope. When we went to bed, we knew it was over. We prayed, we know our family and friends prayed, and all the friends and families of other parents trying to adopt from Rwanda prayed. Overnight the government made the small change to allow paperwork from any Rwandan embassy. This was our chance. I believe God heard the prayers and made a way for us to continue. Since it was the weekend, we had to wait and be totally dependent on God. We could only pray and wait to see what He would do. And boy did He take care of us!! Our paperwork was were it needed to be when this whole announcement came out but we could not know that until today. I will say, not having any control and having to wait, is not fun at all, but God knew what He was doing and I guess He didn't want us in the way.

Even though it worked out for us, there are still families trying to get there paperwork to the embassy. PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR THESE FAMILIES!! The week has started and they have to hit the ground running to get everything done in time. I know how they are feeling. I felt that way all weekend. I am happy for Paul and myself but at the same time I still feel anxious for these other families. They want their child as much as we want ours. I ask again, PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR THESE FAMILIES!! God knows who they are and we have seen that He will answer prayers!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Words Can Not Express Our Full Gratitude

I wanted wanted to send out a word of thanks to everyone out there.

Paul and I cannot thank everyone enough for their love and support during these last few trying days. People have come out of the woodwork to pray and encourage us. During this whole ordeal, we have felt scared, confused, disappointed,and grieved but one thing we have never felt is alone. We are humbled and grateful for our family, friends and those recent connections that we have made in the adoption community.

We want to again say, thank you so much for everything!!! The text messages, facebook messages, blog comments, and phone calls have meant more than you could ever know. Paul and I are truly grateful to have each and everyone of you in our lives.

Tomorrow, Monday, we should be getting a call from AGCI and they should know where our paperwork is and what we need to do next. Please continue to pray that our paperwork makes it to the Rwandan embassy. I will try and keep everyone updated to any and all information I get.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Slightly Good News

Well, there was some slightly good news this morning. Over night the Rwanda government changed there announcement to say that as long is our adoption paperwork is in ANY Rwandan embassy it will be processed. This is hopeful. Our paperwork is in DC and has been there for a week. If our paperwork can make it to the Rwandan embassy in DC by next Tuesday then we are good.

PLEASE KEEP PRAYING!! Please pray that our paperwork makes it to the embassy!

Bad News

Well, apparently earlier today Rwanda made the announcement that they are suspending all international adoptions as of August 31, 2010. Here is why...

Our dossier has no chance of making it to Rwanda by the 31st. NONE

I want to be the person that can say, "God is in control. I'm not going to worry." I want to be the person who can praise and worship after hearing this news. But I'm not. I want to be that person, I really do, but I'm the person screaming, "God this hurts!! God, why?!?!?" I'm beaten down, heartbroken, and crying.

I had never seen a picture of our daughter but I knew she was there. I had never seen her smile but I knew she had one. Nights upon nights I would dream about her. We had talked of the trips we would go on and the things we would see. Right now, in this moment, I feel like all of this has been stripped away. I thought this roller coaster ride was over. I knew that there might be delays but never did I think the program would be stopped. I have been thrown right back into that pit I was in when we were struggling with infertility.

We knew God was leading us to Rwanda, we just knew it. I have to believe that there is still hope. I know this was not a surprise to God. I know that He works all things to the good of those who love Him. I know there is a big picture but this still hurts. It hurts bad!!

No one really has any definite information on what is going on in Rwanda. We should know more on the 31st. PLEASE PRAY!! I don't know that I can right now so you guys will have to pray for me.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

We did it!

We finally did it! We finished ALL of our paperwork. A couple of weeks ago we were telling everyone that we finished our dossier, but we still had the I-600A to do. Now...everything is done. We mean it this time!

AGCI (Julie) called and said everything was good with our dossier, except we didn't get the birth certificate and marriage license certified. We thought they were certified the way they were, but we were wrong. So, we went ahead and finished the I-600A while we were waiting for her to send the certificates back. Then we took off for another whirlwind trip to Nashville. Thank you God that these only had to be state certified and not county also. We went to the state building and took care of our papers, then headed for the nearest FedEx office, and before we left Nashville our papers were on their way.

We tracked our packages and our I-600A arrived at the US CIS office around 10am, local time, and our certificates made it to AGCI around 1pm local time. Julie sent us an e-mail and told us she would send our dossier out today!! YAY!! We are so excited. What a big weight off our shoulders!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

How a week can change things...

This post won't be uplifting or talk about anything wonderful that has happened in the last week. Just FYI.

There seems to be a cloud that has settled over our house. Stress levels have risen and we always seem to be tired. We have done so much over the last few weeks, I feel like we haven't even been home. *sigh*

We got a call and our marriage and birth certificates weren't certified properly so we are going to have to make another trip to Nashville. Our AC has went out in our house and it is 100 degrees outside. I threw a party this past weekend, and fun as it was, it was stressful to get the house ready for people to come over. On top of the cleaning, we took on the project of putting shelves up in my pantry. That took Paul and my dad about 3 to 4 hours to finish and I was cleaning up around them the whole time.

I know this doesn't sound like much and it sounds like I'm just whining but its the little things that can drag you down. It just seems like there is always something. I guess that is normal. There is probably no reason for me to complain. I just feel like there is a cloud over both our heads and we can't see past it.

The sermon at church yesterday was about faith. How even though we can't see the big picture, God knows what is happening and why it is happening. I feel like I can say, "yeah, I know that" but acting on that knowledge is hard sometimes. I need stronger faith. I can say to myself "oh, I won't worry about this" or "I can wait on God's timing for this" and then in 5 minutes I can find myself worrying or finding ways to make things happen faster and not even realizing I'm doing it. I don't know how to make my faith stronger or even if I can do it myself. Maybe God needs to tweak me more. Whatever it is, I can tell you we are in a faith low point right now.

Maybe in a week things will start looking better.

Monday, August 9, 2010

And there was much rejoicing....

OK, so I wrote out this whole nice story about what we did last week. Then I went to publish and it lost the entire post. Pictures and everything gone. *Sigh* Is this God telling me no one really wants to read this? OK, one more time...

Once upon a time there was a Prince and a Princess and they wanted a baby of their own. But they wanted to make sure they got the right baby, the one that was meant for them alone. They searched high and they searched low but she couldn't be found. Then, finally, as if God actually drew them a map they knew she was in Rwanda. So off they went. They made plans and preparations for their journey to get their daughter. From out of nowhere this big, bad, awful wizard wanted to make sure they were right for there daughter. Even though, the prince and the princess knew deep in their hearts there could be no other, they couldn't see a way around the mountain of paperwork the wizard had placed in front of them. So, with resolute hearts, the prince and princess decided they would do anything to bring their daughter home. Together they accepted the quest of the dossier. After months and months of toiling, it was finally coming to an end. The princess and the king (my dad) went to the town of Maryville to have the home study county certified. Two days later the prince and princess were to make the final trek of this quest and go to Nashville. But first, as in all quests, preparations must be made. The set off to Chattanooga to make sure everything was properly notarized and county certified. Just so they could remember their journey they recorded some of the happenings.

Here is a picture of the last letters being notified...

Then the quest took the prince and princess to Dunlap for one last county certification. After a long morning of hither and thither, the royal couple finally set off to the final stop, Nashville. They had finally made it. They were at the end of the quest but then the evil wizard conjured up construction and remodelling of the building they were to enter. The Prince and princess were terribly frustrated after they had walked the entire circumference of the building. Had the evil wizard finally stopped them? No! Nothing would stop them!! They triumphed when they finally found an entrance. Once inside there was another royal couple following the same path and two more entered after. It was a wonderful sight to see other couples following the path to find their special child that was made just for them. The evil wizard could not defeat them. The prince and princess got all of their papers state certified. They documented this event so that everyone could rejoice with them.

Their quest being completed they went home so the could rejoice with the entire family. The princess, being tired from the journey, changed from her royal garb into resting clothes. The princess hopes everyone will pardon this.

The royal couple wanted to be sure everything was perfect and that everything was in order so they sent their dossier to their fairy godmother at AGCI. She is helping the prince and princess in this daunting quest. They wanted the packet to arrive safely and quickly so the went to the local Fed Ex office and magically the fairy godmother received it today.

How do I know all of this? I know this because I am the princess and I anxiously await my daughter. I am willing to travel to the ends of the earth to find her and I am bursting with excitement and anticipation waiting for the day I can bring her home!!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

What a wonderful weekend!

We had such a great weekend. If you didn't know, we went to a benefit dinner held by our adoption agency, All God's Children International. This dinner was a way for AGCI to raise money to help more people in the countries in which they work. They also let us in on ways that we can do more to help the hurting people out there. The more I learn about these things, the more I come to understand that here in America we live in a bubble. We have everything we could ever need and more. All it takes is just a small sacrifice on our part, I mean a really small sacrifice, to make a big difference in someone else's life. None of us could ever imagine what it would be like to not have clean water, not have 3 (or in my case more) meals a day, or to only have a few things to wear. Most of us have full cupboards, overflowing closets, and about 4 faucets that spout clean water whenever we want it. What if that wasn't there? What would you do? There are so many ways out there that we can make a difference! Imagine what would happen if we all did just that little something!! What would happened if you didn't spend that extra money at Wal-Mart on that thing you didn't really need? Instead, you gave that money to a good cause or bought a fair trade item?

OK, off my soapbox now. But, please, think about it!!

On Saturday we went to the AGCI family picnic, and it was lots of fun. It was so great to be able to talk with people who really understand. I could say, "we are so happy our home study is done" or "we are almost done with our dossier" and they knew exactly what I was talking about and totally understand our feelings of relief. Don't get me wrong...I love that our family and friends care and ask questions but no one really understands if they haven't been through it.

The picnic and dinner really motivated us to get home and finish our dossier. Just 3 forms left! Then we start the county and state certifications. Ugh! Hopefully that won't take too long or be too much trouble.

Sometimes the waiting is so hard. I want her here so badly that I sometimes think I might explode from the wanting. We are trying to keep on top of the paperwork, get her room ready, and get the house ready. I'm even cross-stitching a picture for her room. It does help to keep busy, but then sometimes that wanting just creeps up on you and grabs you. *sigh* Some days I don't think I can wait any longer. I guess God is teaching me patience.

I've never asked for this but here goes...Please pray that I'll have patience.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I hope we can keep up...

Lots of things have happened in the last few days and lots of stuff is happening now. I kinda feel like we just got onto the Autobahn and we are just driving a moped.

We finally finished our education workbook. That was hard! 175 pages of open ended parenting questions. It was a good thing because it made us really think about situations and problems that might pop up but it was also overwhelming. Paul and I having never parented a child before was sometimes just left to stare at the page or go to someone else with kids and ask their opinions. Thank God its over! I sent it back to All God's Children on Monday. If you listened real close on Monday at lunch time you probably heard the Hallelujah chorus. We just got an e-mail about 10 minutes ago that our workbook was received and considered complete. What a weight off my shoulders!!

Our home study has been in the process of being written up for a couple of weeks and we got our final forms to our social worker on Monday. She sent us a copy to look over on Monday night. We are making some revisions (slight ones) and it has already been sent to All God's Children for their approval. They have already looked at it and even though it isn't completely finalized, it will be by tomorrow at noon. Tomorrow!!

Our next step is finishing up our dossier. We have worked on this some but needed to hold off on some of the more time-sensitive documents until the home study was complete. Now that it practically is Paul is pulling his hair out with all the government forms. Funny thing, government, they do so little on some things and require so many hoops for others. But I guess that is another blog post.

All of this boils down to this. If we stick with it we could have our dossier finished by the end of July. It could be sent to D.C. by August. We could have our paperwork in Rwanda by the end of August. That means by the end of August we could be waiting for our referral. This is so exciting!! It has me smiling and bouncy.

When we picked this path of adoption, we knew this was the way God wanted us to go. Life was so peaceful when we made the decision. God led us to Rwanda and things have just fallen into place ever since. Even though sometimes I feel like we are stuck in a traffic jam and other times we are flying down the interstate, I know this is where we should be. Let's all just keep praying things will continue smoothly and quickly.

Monday, June 14, 2010

What a Crazy Two Weeks!!

So, this past Tuesday was our meeting with our home study social worker. As I said it went great. I cleaned for the next two days! The house looks great, if I do say so myself. Then on Friday Paul's dad went in for triple by-pass surgery and ended up having 5 bypasses. Saturday we had our home visit for the home study. After 2 days of cleaning, she only looked at the house for about 10 minutes or less. Then we just sat at the table and talked. It went good. These visits get us excited!

Paul's dad is doing great! They moved him into a room today. Now its just going to take time for him to heal.

What's next? Well, my dad is having a kidney removed on Thursday. Back to the hospital. We are still working on our adoption education while working on our dossier packet. This Saturday we are going to Knoxville again to finish up our home study interviews. Home study will take 1-2 months to write up and during that we'll finish the dossier. Lots of stuff to do quickly only to have to wait a long time after they are done. *sigh*

We have to just keep plowing along. Thanks for any prayers you have sent our way!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

1st Home Study Interview...Done!

Yesterday we went to Knoxville to meet with our homestudy social worker. I was so nervous, excited, and scared. I have the habit of babbling when I'm nervous and I just knew I would say something stupid. I think it went pretty good though. She talked with me for about an hour. We talked about life growing up, school, adoption, and other stuff. She talked to Paul for about as long about the same things. She was REALLY nice and easy to talk to.

She tentatively scheduled the home visit for this Saturday. So what am I doing now? CLEANING!! lol

I can't believe how things are just falling into place so easily. It is amazing how God can work when you just get out of his way. We are so excited and can't wait to bring our daughter home.

Thanks so much for all your thoughts and prayers. Keep them coming because you can never get enough.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

I'm so excited and I just can't hide it!

It's so wonderful how things can change. Just a few months I used to lay awake at night and wonder what it would be like to be pregnant. I would wonder when/if we would ever be pregnant. Would we ever have children? I would sometimes cry myself to sleep at night. I would pray and pray for God to give us children. Little did I know what was planned. I keep mulling all this stuff over in my head and I am amazed every time.

Last night I was laying in bed and I couldn't go to sleep because I was wondering what our daughter would look like, will she like us, and wondering if I would make a good mother. It was almost like Christmas Eve and I couldn't wait for tomorrow and open my presents. I am just SO excited!! Sometimes I can't contain it. Then I don't have enough people around to talk about it. I just have to let it out sometimes.

I can't wait to meet my daughter that God has specifically picked out for me!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Commerical Break

Now its time for a commerical break.

I found a website that helps farmers in Rwanda.

Here you can buy coffee that comes from Rwanda and help the farmers there at the same time. I bought some for the moms for Mother's Day and my mom said that she liked it. Please at least take the time to look and learn about some of the farmers.

Whoever would have thought that buying coffee could make a differnce?

Home Study....Done!

Well...maybe not done. Our part of the paperwork is done. We mailed it off today. The lady at the post office said my envelope weighed almost 1 pound. That's alot of paperwork. I feel a little lighter today and more excited!!

Here's our paperwork...



Here is our first baby with the paperwork for our second...


I haven't posted in a while so here is an update. Our most exciting news is the home study paperwork. We also put baby furniture in layaway. The more that we do the more real it becomes. And guess what?!? Someone actually told me Happy Mother's Day on Sunday! WOW! I thought I might break down right there from just that simple comment. Mother's Day was still a little rough. A swirll of emotions, some good, some bad. Anyway, that was the last Mother's Day I will spend without my baby. YAY!!

Bad News...I now have to get my house clean for the home study. LOL

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Percy Jackson teaches me a lesson

The other night I was finishing "The Last Olympian" and started thinking. Scary, I know. In this book and in a lot of other books like it there are prophecies that are spoken about the future. Most of the time when I read them I think I know exactly how everything will end. Some times I just go "huh?" Anyway, while reading about Percy I was right where the author wanted me. I read the prophecy and took it at face value. I thought I knew what each character would do and how the actions taken by the characters would affect the ending of the story. The end was basically what I expected but the events that got us there was not at all what I expected. These events leading to the end were important and exciting and even though not how I imagined the outcome it was just how I wanted it to end. I don't want to ruin the story for anyone but I will tell you what Percy Jackson taught me.

When I thought about my future I knew basically what I wanted and I thought I knew how I would get it. I always thought I would be lucky enough that the first man I really dated would be the man of my dreams. Boy I couldn't have been more wrong. I did meet the man of my dreams but the events leading up to meeting him were not what I thought would happen. I believe that God knew I would need that HORRIBLE relationship so that I could appreciate the man he had ready for me. What I have now is more than I ever thought I would have.

Once we were married, I knew what would happen. We would travel and enjoy being together and then when we were ready we would start a family. I, like everyone else, had the idea that I would immediately get pregnant and life would be wonderful. This also didn't happen like I planned. Now we are adopting. This isn't the way I pictured building a family but the end result is the same. I might not be pregnant but I am just as excited and the same questions and fears are running through my head. Just like any mother, I love this child before having seen her. I can't wait until she is here with her parents.

Just like in Percy Jackson, I felt like I had a "prophecy" laid out for my life. Just like in Percy Jackson, it didn't turn out like he or I expected but I am glad that it didn't. I am so thankful that God is the author and He knows how the story will end. I want to enjoy the exciting and wonderful story that God has written for me.

I pray that others will realize that sometimes God wants to give us great things. It just may not be in the way we expect to receive them.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Exciting Times (for us)

Friday was an exciting day. We were finally able to send in our contracts. All God's Children will get our packet on Monday, 12pm pst. We should get a call from them tomorrow or Tuesday. Once they have gone over our packet, they will send us our dossier packet. We will work on this and our homestudy as quickly as we can. This should be the longest part of our journey since Rwanda doesn't have a waiting list.

That is the informational part. Now let me tell you how it all happened. I have a wonderful husband. He humors me in many things. He laughed at me but eventhough it was embarrassing to him, we got pictures when the notary to notarized our paperwork.

notary 5

Notary 6

Then off to the post office.

mail 1

Paul only laughed but never told me no pictures. I know he is as excited as I am. First step taken care of. WOOT!! Now we are just waiting for the next set of paperwork.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Crazy Snow Storm

Wow! It has been so crazy this past weekend.

First, Paul and two friends were supposed to go to Haiti on Saturday. As he was spending the night at a friend's house before they headed to the airport, his friend got sick. Since Paul and his other had been exposed, they couldn't go. He and his friends are now supposed to fly out this Saturday if all goes well.

Second, while Paul was off on his journey to get to Haiti, I went to stay at my parents house. We got about 5 to 7 inches of snow here on the mountain. My sister and her family came up to my mom's on their 4-wheeler with a sled behind it. It was so much fun being pulled around the yard. When the fun was over they headed home. On their way home, a tree broke under the weight of the ice and fell on them. All of them! It hit the back of the 4-wheeler and landed on the sled that 2 of the kids was riding on. Not only did the tree fall but it broke a power line on the way down. If it hadn't broke they way it did, it could have killed the entire family. Very scary!! Everyone is ok and only have a few cuts and a black eye.

Third, my dad was inside and heard the tree fall and was afraid that something bad had happened. He just threw on some shoes and hurried out the door. He promptly fell down 5 stairs. He couldn't get up. We had to get my uncle to help get him up and back inside. Paul finally made it home and had to walk back to my parents because the tree was blocking the road. We ended up staying the whole weekend with my parents helping my dad get up and move around.

Finally, the good news. Since Paul couldn't go to Haiti, our adoption paperwork doesn't have to wait a week to get started. YAY! We are signing contracts and have our orientation call tonight. I'm getting more and more excited all the time. The adoption is pretty much all I want to talk about anymore.

After all this craziness, I'm ready for the snow to be gone and for everything to settle down.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


We spoke with All God's Children International on Friday afternoon. The Rwanda program has everything we could ever want. We are so excited!! As soon as we were off the phone, Erin (the lady at the agency) e-mailed us the application. We immediately filled it out and submitted it. We are now on our way to a beautiful, Rwandan girl!!

We have more paperwork to finish and e-mail back on Monday. We are also contacting the home study agency tomorrow. We want to move on this as fast as we can. We are hoping that we will have her here for Christmas (anything can slow it down but we can still dream, right?).

Keep Praying!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Things might be moving

Well things may be moving for us and we are very excited!!

Have you ever had a time where you felt God moving? You can almost physically feel pieces being moved around you but you just can't quite make out the picture? That is where we have been. We have thought about events and conversations over the last few days trying to find out what God is trying to do.

From the beginning of this journey, we have said that we are going to pray and try to go the way God wants us to but if that is the wrong way we have asked Him to block our way. Also, from the beginning, we put up a barrier that did not come from our prayers. We said that we could not adopt a black child while living in Dunlap. It would just be too hard. But things may be changing.

Some back story....When we began trying to decide where we would adopt from, we narrowed the list down to two countries. Taiwan and Haiti. We pursued Taiwan and when we found out that it was not an option through one agency we found another agency with a Taiwan program. Haiti was put on the back burner and never thought about again. As you know with the other Taiwan program, it wasn't going to open until January. Recently we found out it wasn't going to open until early spring. This has now changed to late spring or early summer. So what we wondered and maybe are still wondering is, is this God blocking our way? During this we have heard stories of others who have adopted black children in Dunlap. We have even talked with one and she told us that they have had no problems. She told me that if God is leading me to adopt a black child then I should just do it and He will take care of the problems. How do you argue with that?

So over the last couple of days we have been thinking maybe this means we should be adopting from somewhere else. So we have started talking to some agencies again. Rwanda has now come to the forefront. After a couple of e-mails to All God's Children International, the Rwanda program has everything we ever wanted. All we had to do was remove our fear of bringing a black child into our community.

I feel like God has been moving and working around us for the last few weeks. We desperately want to do what He wants. I wish He would just hold up a neon sign for us. hehe

Please pray that we will do what God wants and not get impatient and jump ahead.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Welcome to the new year!

Happy New Year!!

I hope everyone has had a very merry Christmas and a very happy new year. A new year is here and it is full of opportunity. I always get excited when a new year rolls around. What resolution can I make? Well, as you guys already know, we are going to adopt soon. Here is where we stand with that. We got our bathroom remodelled, thanks to some very good friends, still have a couple of classes left to take, need to fix some other things around the house, and we NEED the program to open. We had decided to adopt from Taiwan but with the agency we picked the Taiwan program wasn't going to open until the first of the year. Now they tell us it will be spring or early summer. This waiting is killing me. I get all excited and start getting things ready and then I wait. Rinse and repeat. I guess I need to get used to this because this is the way it will be during the adoption but I would just like to get started.

I have subscribed to the agency e-newsletter so I have been reading stories from other countries they work in and it makes me want to change my mind and go to different/all of the countries. It breaks my heart to know what these children endure and then to think about what we think is hardship. Paul says we can't adopt every child and I guess that is true. I am now praying for more people to look at adoption closer. I was never opposed to adopting and always knew that the children in the orphanages would be better off in a loving home but the more I learn, the more my eyes open, and the more my heart hurts for these children.

All of this has got me to thinking about what I can do. I am hoping that I can find some places around here where I can volunteer. Something to bring good to this crazy world. If any of you have any suggestions to this please let me know.

I know that some of my friends and family have faced some hard times this year and I will continue to pray for you. I may not show it but I think of these things often. More often than not these worries keep me up at night. I think we can get weighed down by all of our worries and troubles and not want to go on but we must. God has a bigger plan for all us. He loves us very much. We may not be able to see what he is doing but he will work all things for his good. All of this reminds me of one of my most favorite scenes from Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Samwise always knows just what to say...

Frodo: I can't do this, Sam.
Sam: I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.
Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?
Sam: That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo... and it's worth fighting for

I also hope, for all of you, that you can find/bring some more good to this world this year.