December 05, 2012

Kades Birth Story (Part 1)

It was a Friday afternoon just 3 days before V's due date.  Kipton and I had just gotten home after a morning play date with friends from our MOPS group. I heard my phone ringing as I was busy changing his diaper before laying him down for a nap. I'll call whoever it is right back, I thought.  After Kipton was snug in his bed, I checked my phone to see a missed call from V. I immediately got excited but brushed it off thinking this wouldn't be THE call.

I dialed her number back and she answered so calmly. I asked if she had called and she said "Yeah, my water just broke." (AHHH!!!) My response was...are you serious?! I was so excited.  After my nerves calmed down I told her we'd meet her at the hospital soon.  Next, I called Trey to tell him to rush home from work and then called my mom to come sit with Kipton while he napped then take him to her house.

I was rushing around the house making sure we had everything in our hospital bag, making sure all of Kiptons things were together for my mom and taking care of the dogs before we left. Once Trey and my mom got to the house we were on our way! The drive to the hospital was busy.  We were both  calling and texting everyone we knew letting them know that the time had come. When we were almost to the hospital we just looked at each other and realized that our baby was coming. This was it!

At the hospital, we parked the car in the garage and entered the elevator to the hospital.  I remember being so excited I told the people on the elevator we were there to have a baby. They looked at us a little funny and then I realized they were looking for a pregnant belly. Trey explained we were adopting and they didn't look so puzzled anymore. They both congratulated us and wished us luck and with that we were off to the labor and delivery floor.

When we got to the room V was there with a friend.  She was getting her IV and they were doing the final paperwork for check in. She looked great. We could tell she was uncomfortable but she was handling it so well. We talked about how she was feeling and how she absolutely hated needles. We all began taking bets as to when the little man would enter the world. (We were all way off!) Not long after we'd been there I got a text from a dear friend of mine, Adrienne. She was on the same floor of the hospital visiting friends who had a baby the day before.  I stepped out the room and met her by the nursery.  It was good to have a friend there to hug me and pray over me.  All the anxiety and nervousness melted away.  I was ready to experience the next few life changing days and be the support that V would need.

Back in the room V's friend was leaving and V was requesting her epidural. The epidural was probably the hardest part for her.  They poked her several times before they got it placed in the right spot.  It was very painful for her....and for my hands. ;) At 4 o'clock she was still only 3cm dilated. Shortly after 4 her mom and her sister arrived. To say the room was tense would be an understatement.  We did our best to be friendly and make the mood calm and relaxing for V. At 5pm the nurse came in the room to check on us and V said she was having a lot of pressure. The nurse checked her and suddenly told her not to move.  She called in the doctor and other labor and delivery team and within seconds the room was being transformed for V to start pushing.  V literally laughed Kade out.  Within 2 pushes our little man was out in the world.  Born at 5:22 pm on October 12th.  I had the privilege of being able to cut his umbilical cord before they put him on V's chest.

He was perfect. Clear lungs, loud curling cry, head full of jet black hair and the juiciest little lips you ever did see. After V held him and the nurse wiped him down, I was able to do skin to skin with him. We were so blessed to have an amazing nursing staff who treated us like his parents from the first second he was born.  I'm thankful to them for giving us that experience and for V to be so gracious to allow us to be present during his birth. I will always cherish those moments.

Our hospital stay... TO BE CONTINUED...

November 17, 2012

I'm Back

I am happy to say that I'm back in the blogging world!  The last couple months have been CRAZY and not having a home computer or internet has made it extremely difficult to update the blog. I appreciate all you sweet friends who have written me to check on our process and now I'm here to share whats the latest in our families journey.

1. Our DRC Adoption

The beginning of this month marked 6 months since we got our Congolese daughters referral. To be honest, I thought at this point we'd be getting ready to make travel plans to bring our girl home, but unfortunately that's just not how it's gone.  Currently, we are waiting on her birh certificate to be issued  and then our lawyer will be able to apply for the adoption judgement through the court.  Once this happens, she will officially be legally ours!! That day can not happen fast enough.  It is my prayer that we will pass court by the end of the year.

We haven't gotten an update on Cora since August. We are working with a third party service to arrange visits and regular updates.  They have visited her orphanage several times and have not been allowed by the orphanage staff to complete the visit.  We were told the situation was being worked on and our lawyer has gotten involved to help set up a successful visit.  As soon as we have new information directly pertaining to Cora I will update here.

2. Our Fundraising

On September 18th we reached the status of being fully funded for both adoptions!! PRAISE GOD!! We had applied for several grants and received the news on that day that Gift of Adoption had awarded us a $5000 grant! That grant along with a grant from Show Hope ($5000), a matching grant from Hand in Hand ($2500), lots of fundraising, sacrifice and hard work has brought us to the point of having enough to financially pay for our Congo adoption and our domestic adoption. That's roughly 43,000 dollars people!!!! Can you see how amazing our God is?! He is undoubtedly the father to the fatherless.  How blessed I am to be in the center of His will for these precious children.

3. Our Domestic Adoption

Introducing the newest Kade.

Kade was born on October 12th at 5:22 in the afternoon.  He weighed 7lbs 10oz and was 18.5 inches long.  This little boy is a pure blessing and the past month has been a true testimony of our faith in this adoption...we have an amazing son who God specifically grafted into our family.  There are no words to describe the amazing reality of this redeeming story. I plan to do a post about his birth and our time in the hospital. Stay tuned for that post soon.

As you can see our adoption story is still unfolding and I am so thankful to have the means to share with you all again. It is good to be back!

August 10, 2012

I Asked For It

This post was written on July 5th. I am just now getting around to sharing it…

I asked for it. It’s all my fault; I’m not going to lie. I told God I was open to caring for all the children He had intended to bring into my home. I told Him it didn’t matter their story, their location, their agency, age, race or gender, I would be open to any child He specifically had in mind for our family. (Although in the back of my mind I was thinking he’d have a limit that was in line with mine….oh how God has a sense of humor.)

Today I’m mainly talking about our foster son, W. W came into our lives on a Friday afternoon. In a matter of 5 minutes, his worker marched him through our door, told me his name, gave me a small box of all his belongings, handed over our foster parent agreement and said her goodbyes. W came with his head down, eyes glued to his slow shuffling feet and hands tightly folded in front of him. He didn’t know anything about me, about our home or about his new “brother” who was overly eager to play immediately. This little boy had every right to be unsure because he’d just been uprooted from everything he’d ever known…again.
Prior to his arrival, I was preparing for an angry little boy with uncontrollable temper tantrums. Upon his arrival, I quickly learned of a little boy who’s never known a stable home and is desperate for attention and praise. Within 10 minutes after the worker left, I had a little boy whose charismatic personality was quickly surfacing with the help of hugs and a big boy cup of juice. By Friday evening, I learned W was incredibly smart, very observant, gentle, had great manners, was 100% potty trained (BONUS!) and absolutely soaked up every ounce of love, affection and positive praise he could get. I also knew that night that this was a very dangerous situation the Lord gave me because I was falling in love with this little boy who was already calling me Mommy and it hadn’t even been 24 hours.

Tomorrow will be a week we’ve had W. It has been a week of adjusting to being a mom to two boys who already fight like brothers. ;) I was really worried before we were placed with foster kids that I wouldn’t be able to love them as much as I love our biological son, Kipton. I can honestly say, this week the Lord has worked on my heart and made it so easy for me to have a deep and genuine love for W. I love him as if I would have birthed him. My heart hurts when he hurts, and I jump with joy when he is excited about something he accomplished. I love him and care for him as if he’s always been mine. It is so hard to think he could be taken from us at any time. I hate not having control or being able to protect him from every wrong and injustice in this world and broken system. My heart aches at not being able to love him forever and give him a stable home where he will know Jesus and the dynamics of a true family.

Today the Lord really opened my eyes to His vast love for me. I know I love W with a deep love, but that love and protection I desire for him is not even a fraction of the love my Savior has for all of His children. I can not even fathom that great love, but I am so thankful for it!! I am so thankful for Jesus’ model of love and kindness. It is with His love that I am able to give this sweet little boy everything I can. I am not guaranteed a certain amount of days with W, but each day I have I will show him how much Jesus loves him and how much he desires for him to have a relationship with him.

My heart may ache for this little boy, but when we say his nightly prayers and his sweet little 3 year voice echo’s mine it is all worth it…even if just for a little while. Thank you Jesus for our time with this sweet child.

Don’t forget this week is our featured week on Give1Save1! Head on over to check out their website then come back and donate to Kade and Cora’s adoption through our Paypal link to the left!!

August 09, 2012

Give1Save1 Week: Our Little Girl

***Forgive the blurred faces in the pictures. Due to privacy reasons I am not allowed to share Cora’s face just yet, but trust me, it’s beautiful!***

When most parents talk about their 3 year old girls they talk about how they love playing with their dolls, playing dress up, and getting spoiled like the sweet little princesses they are. This is how it should be. This is how I long to talk about our little girl. Instead, when I talk about our Cora I can’t tell you that she loves to be cuddled and spoiled or that she is learning to be tough because her little brothers are constantly rough housing with her. I can’t tell you what her favorite toys and games are or if she has a friend to play with and I can’t even tell you if she’s ever heard the name of Jesus. I hope one day to know everything about our little girl and be confident in the young lady she is, but right now I just can’t . And that is hard.

What I can tell you is this little tiny girl has captured our hearts. We know she lives in a very rough orphanage in the Congo’s capital city, Kinshasha. We know if she’s lucky she gets one meal a day. We know there are anywhere from 30-50 children living in this small, dirty orphanage that would not meet the most lenient standards in America. It is not a place anyone would want their child. With that many kids in the home, not enough supplies, clothes, beds, food/water and supervision there is lots of room for harm to come to Cora. In fact, she has already had a terrible incident that we just learned about. 

Cora and another child were playing near the kitchen area and she fell into a large pot over an open flame. Her poor little three year old self didn’t realize the dangers of getting too close to the large cooking pots. She was probably just wanting to be near the food to ensure she would get her one small meal that day. Cora suffered from a terrible burn all along her right arm. She was in desperate pain and had no mommy or daddy to snuggle her up and rush her to the ER. She was hurt and alone and crying out for relief. I am half a world away and the thought of this scenario playing out makes my stomach turn.  

I want to shout across the earth…WE ARE COMING FOR YOU! HOLD ON JUST A LITTLE LONGER SWEET CORA! We are coming.

If it were up to me, we’d be on a plane tomorrow to bring our daughter home. Unfortunately international adoption, well any adoption really, just isn’t that simple. We have several hurdles we have to jump over before we can bring her home. One of our biggest hurdles is the financial aspect of Cora’s adoption. We still owe about $5,000 in fees for just Cora’s adoption. Is this something you could help with? Could you partner with our family to help Cora come into her forever family? I know not everyone has a lot of money to spare, but everyone could spare just $1. Would you be willing to donate a dollar or more to help bring our little girl home?
If you feel a tug in your heart to help Cora come home, please donate through our paypal button to the left of the page or visit Give1Save1 between Aug 6th-12th. All donations go straight to the adoption fund, nothing else. Thank you so much for your willingness and support. Blessings from our family to yours!

August 08, 2012

Happy Birthday to My Husband!!!

Today is a day to celebrate the man that God chose especially for me. He is all the typical things you would normally say when talking highly of your spouse…a wonderful father, wonderful husband, lover and friend, but above all that he is the my hero and the man I adore having by my side.
Trey, my love, thank you for being an overcomer in life. Thank you for rising up from your not so ideal childhood and growing into the man of God that He desires you to be. Thank you for leading our family in faith. Thank you for being the best provider a family could ask for. Thank you for always having your priorities in line and putting your family above all other worldly distractions. Thank you for always taking the trash out and killing bugs on command. Thank you for being loyal, kind, compassionate and tender hearted. Thank you for being an example to our children of what a father and husband should be. Thank you for your patience and always finding teachable moments with our children. Thank you for letting me sleep in on the weekends. Thank you for allowing me to dream big dreams and never making my dreams feel impossible. Thank you for putting up with my womanly crazieness and still loving me through it all. Thank you for putting your macho manlieness aside and letting our family rock a mini-van. Thank you for always making my heart beat a little faster and always bringing a smile to my face. Most of all, thank you for taking a chance on love with the crazy seventeen year old version of myself. God bless your soul. You are truly a cut above the rest. I love you with everything I am. To the star and back 300 times, always and forever.
   Happy Birthday Trey!!!

Don't forget this is our featured week on Give1Save1! Head on over and check us out then come back to donate your dollar!

August 07, 2012

Give1Save1 Week: The Domestic Side of Adoption

A lot of you have been asking how our domestic adoption is going, so I’m here to fill you in.

It couldn’t be going any better. We have really befriended our sons birth mother and hold our relationship with her highly. We have had the priveledge to go with her to all her doctors appointments and participate in typical pregnancy related events, such as maternity shopping and having lunch while talking about cramps and nauseousness. It isn’t something I can really put into words. It’s very surreal to have all this contact with her because it’s so completely opposite from our Congolese adoption where we are really relying on a few precious pictures and an email that our daughter is ok. With domestic adoption we’re able to correspond with the doctors and nurses taking care of our sons birth mom and know exactly what she’s feeling at every moment. These times we’re spending together will be priceless in the future when Kade begins to ask about her.

Right now we are about 2 months away from Kade’s due date. His nursery is all set up, minus a few little things. Our plan when setting up his nursery was to make it a room that Kipton could move into once Cora was close to coming home. The room was originally a burnt orange and instead of repainting, we just picked a theme that would compliment the room colors. For the bedding I picked Zaire. I love all the different patterns and textures, it gives the room a really rich feel. Plus, I think it’s not too babyish and will be something the boys can grow with.

We bought a brown and ivory chevron run to go over the tile that is in the room. It’s so soft and will be a great spot for the boys to play with their toys.

We also bought a 7ft tall giraffe wall decal for the room. Our foster son thinks it’s the coolest thing ever.

I think the boys will love sharing a room, especially once they’re a little older. We’ve also started bringing down all the baby gear from the attic, the swing, boppy, toys, clothes, car seat, and bassinet. I’m trying to mentally prepare for the newborn stage again, but it’s a little difficult when I’m not actually experiencing the pregnancy. However, once he’s here and we’re getting minimal sleep I’m sure we’ll jump back into the hang of things. It will also be interesting to see how Kipton adjusts to being a big brother. I just can’t wait!
Here’s a picture of our little guy, Kade. This was from his ultrasound last week. Isn’t he a cutie?! I’m so looking forward to kissing his little brown cheeks!

Just a's our Give1Save1 week!! Donate your dollar to get in on the action! Our total is climbing closer and closer to what we need to bring Kade and Cora home...won't you be a part of our featured week?! :)

August 06, 2012

Give1Save1 Week: Intro to Our Family

Hello all!! Some of you are new to our blog and are visiting us from the Give1Save1 Africa blog…welcome! We are so honored to be this weeks featured family. Let me give you the run down on our family and our adoptions…
 We are Trey and Ashton Phillips. We met in high school and were married just 5 months after graduation. We did the typical “American dream” thing, pursuing reputable jobs, the white picket fence, pretty cars, starting a little family, just trying to keep up with the Jones’. Then God rocked our world. He opened our eyes to the poor, the needy, the broken…the orphan. Once our eyes were opened there was no going back, we knew what we had an obligation to do. We had to begin living out our faith through works, not just words. For us, this came in the form of adoption.

Our adoption story has been a little crazy, but nothing short of miraculous. We began our adoption journey in Ethiopia then due to some doors closing God led us to the Democratic Republic of Congo. We were broken for the desperation of the people there. The 2nd poorest nation in the world, rampant with disease and corruption. It was in this destitute country that we knew we had a child. In May 2012, we were matched with a three year old orphan girl, Cora. The first pictures we saw of her only brought tears because you could see the sheer horror and sadness in her eyes. We knew she would be our daughter and soon she would be an orphan no more. Soon Cora will know the love of family and not feel the pangs of hunger and disease, soon Cora will be home.
When Cora comes home in the beginning of 2013, she will have two little brothers to love all over her. Our biological son, Kipton (18 months), and our soon to be adopted son, Kade (due this fall). Kade’s adoption came as a surprise. We did not intend on pursuing two concurrent adoptions. In fact, even the thought of that seemed ludicris, but we all know God’s plans are always better than we can imagine. When things were slow with our Congo adoption, we started entertaining the thought of starting a domestic adoption. We had the mindset that whatever happened first would be the path we’d take. Two months after we turned in our domestic portfolio we were matched with Cora. We immedeatly let our domestic agency know and told them to pull our portfolio. Despite closing the domestic door, God still worked his hand in the situation and had us presented to Kade’s birth mom. She chose us to raise her son because of the Christian values we lived by. I truly believe that as Christians if we are pro-life that we need to be willing to stand in the gap for the women who choose life for their babies. In this situation there was no way we could say no. With a simple yes and a phone chat with V, we were on our way to becoming parents to a newborn and a three year old in Congo all at the same time. Oh how great is our God?
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. -Galatians 6:9

Thank you so much for coming over to learn more about our family! I hope you’ll stick around and continue with us on our journey. Don’t forget to visit the Give1Save1  site and come back to donate your dollar. Every dollar counts toward bringing Cora and Kade home!
Also check out our adoption video...

July 29, 2012

And We're Back...

I have been a bit out of the bloggy loop latlely because being a mom to two little ones is much more time consuming than just one. (Yes, I said two…we have a foster son!) On top of my newly busy schedule, our computers wireless capabilities decided to bite the dust, so being connected to the internet has been a bit of a challenge.
I do have a couple of amazingly awesome tidbits to share…
1. We have obtained our first required piece of paper in Congo…our Consent To Adopt was issued on July 19th! YAY! Now we can move forward with the first judgement and 30 day wait period. Baby steps.
2. Our baby boy we’re adopting via domestic adoption is officially in the third trimester! Not much longer at all.
3. This is a biggie!! We have been selected to be the featured family on Give1Save1 Africa for the week of August 6th!! Super exciting!
What is Give1Save1 you ask? Well, let me tell you…

Give1Save1 was started on the premise of helping adopting families raise funds for their adoptions. The thought was not everyone has a lot of money to give away, but everyone can spare just one dollar. The week we will be featured, they will have a little write up about our family, pictures of us and an awesome video of our adoption story that our friends at Dreampop Media helped us create. Our hope is that everyone who views our video will donate $1 (or more) to help raise money to bring our kiddos home. Those dollars will add up. I mean if 15,000 people viewed our video and all gave just one dollar we would be fully funded!! What an amazing feeling that would be, knowing that your dollar went that far!
We’re also going to need your assistance in helping us get the video viral. We hope you’ll partner with us to share the video through facebook, twitter, youtube, your blog, your email lists, any way you can think of. We would appreciate your help more than you even know!
I’ll keep you updated as to any other progress we make and be looking out for more posts as we get closer to our Give1Save1 dates.

June 19, 2012


My mind is pretty much mush lately due to the complexities of being in the process of an international adoption and a domestic adoption at the same time. Plus, being a mom to a 16 month old boy and 4 dogs who do not have an off switch and attempting to be the best wife possible. All the while starting Jen Hatmaker’s book 7, which is making me increasingly cranky because we’re on month 1 and I LOVE food!!! So, please bear with me through this sporadic post.

-First off, I mentioned in a previous post that directors from our agency were traveling to DRC to sign an agreement with the country officials. They were also taking a care package to our little girl. Well, yesterday I was informed they were able to hand carry our dossier to Congo!! For any adoption newbie’s, the dossier is our whole life in papers. The stack is pretty much a mile high and had to be notarized, legalized, signed, stamped, etc. It’s a big deal!! Now they will translate our dossier into French (Congo’s official language) and it will await our court date.

-Speaking of court date…I have a big prayer. And I mean BIG! I’m praying that we pass court in Congo before our baby boy is born via domestic adoption. I’m praying this for a few reasons. 1) If we don’t pass court before he’s born, we’ll have to update our international home study. This comes with a hefty price tag of $1,350. (Yikes!) And would probably delay Cora coming home. 2) If we pass court before he’s born, the likelihood of Cora being home by Christmas is pretty good!! I would love to be a complete family in 2012. 3) We’ll still be eligible for the adoption tax credit if she comes home this year. If not, we lose any chance of getting the credit to help offset some of our expenses we’ve already paid out because the credit expires December 31, 2012. Please let this be your prayer as well. Pray that we pass court in Congo before the birth of our son.

-I mentioned we have a chance of missing the tax credit window. Even if we don’t miss it, we still have a long way to go financially before we can bring these kiddos home. We need at least $15,000 more to complete both adoptions. I have applied for a few grants recently and am anxiously awaiting the decisions. Please pray that there will be grants awarded in our favor. Pray for funds to be provided in miraculous ways. We have worked so hard thus far and the Lord has been faithful. I pray for his continued support and provisions.

-We are officially a licensed SC foster home! Our worked called today to tell me she received our license and was mailing it to us.

Our house will be full with pitter patters of little feet soon, so for now I’m going sit back and enjoy the quietness of being a family of three. It’s the calm before the storm, but I’m sure it will be the best storm of our lives.

June 13, 2012

God Threw Us A Curve Ball

Let me start from the very beginning. We started this adoption with all hopes to adopt a little boy from Ethiopia, as you all know that changed when Ethiopia abruptly changed their age guidelines. You can read about that here.

After the boot from Ethiopia we switched to our agencies extremely new Congo program. We loved our agency and the thought of a pilot program did not scare us in the least, until we really got into it. Once we were a part of the program things seemed to be at a complete standstill. There had been no referrals in months and the number of families in the program continued to grow. We began to worry, not necessarily questioning our call to adoption, but just wondering if Congo would come through.

In February, we attended a local adoption fair with friends of ours who were adopting domestically. There were lots of agencies, lawyers, and adoption support groups at the fair. It was a wonderful event and opened our eyes and hearts for all types of adoption…international, domestic and foster care. We began to pray about which direction was right for our family. We were so heavily invested in Congo and our hearts truly were in Africa, but did God have another plan for our family?

At the end of February, we decided to pursue a domestic adoption as well. Our thinking was that we would open up the doors to being matched with a local birthmom and still stay on the waiting list for a referral from Congo. Whichever match happened first is the one we would pursue. We compiled our family portfolio and dropped it off to the domestic agency with high hopes of being picked quickly. We didn’t hear of a single interest in 2 ½ months. As you probably know, on May 4th we got the call about a 3 year old little girl in Congo whose referral we accepted and are now in the process of preparing for court in Congo. Our adoption finally had a direction, a positive one, one that we were perfectly content pursuing. The Lord had been faithful and indeed led us to Congo.

Shortly after we accepted our daughter’s referral, I emailed our local domestic agency to let them know of our referral status and to pull our portfolio from being shown. I told her we were going to go full force with Congo and if it was God’s will we may come back to domestic later, much later. Whoops, let me back up a minute. I forgot to tell you I spoke with a lawyer the morning of May 4th (our Congo referral day) about putting our domestic portfolio with her office in hopes of getting more showings with birth moms. That conversation quickly went to the back of my mind because just hours later we got the call about our daughter.

Anyhow, on May 21st we got a call from the domestic agency. She told us that she knew we had a referral from Congo, but would like to show us to a mom who had just had a baby yesterday! What in the world?! I was in shock because to me domestic was already closed, but after talking with Trey and our international worker we decided to be shown. The mom didn’t pick us and that was a-ok. Back to just going with Congo…or not. Two days later I got another call. This time it was from the lawyer I’d spoken with the day of our referral. She had a mom in the hospital preparing to give birth and she wanted to make an adoption plan. She asked if we could send her some pictures and info because she wanted us to be considered. Oh. My. Word. What in the world was happening?! We hadn’t heard a thing in months and now we had two potential situations in one week. It was at that moment I felt like God was slapping me in the face and saying “Hello!!! Keep all the doors that I called you to open!”. We were shown to that mom as well, but were not picked.

In the next few days Trey and I decided to go with what we thought the Lord was yelling to us and keep our domestic possibilities open. We had a window of time that a match could happen or it would interfere with our Congolese adoption and we didn’t want that to be interrupted so we waited to see what would happen, if anything.

Last Friday, June 8th, exactly one month after we officially accepted the referral of our Congolese daughter, we got a call from the domestic lawyer. WE HAD BEEN MATCHED. A local mom pregnant with a bi-racial baby boy had chosen us! We had so many emotions running through us; joy, excitement, shock, thankfulness, and a little bit of “oh my goodness, we’ll have 3 kids in the next 8 months!”

So, I am overjoyed to announce that our family of 3 is expecting a baby boy Fall 2012 and a little girl Spring 2013!! From a family of 3 to 5 in less than a year! Oh, how His ways are so much greater than mine!!

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” -Isaiah 55:8-9

Thanks for coming along this journey with us as we expand our family.  I'll keep you updated on the progress of both adoptions as things move forward.  All glory to Him forever and ever.

June 07, 2012

Month 1: Our 1st Care Package

Our first care package and officially one month of having our exciting! Theres no big news to share other than we're being patient while our Power of Attorney and Consent to Adopt are being legalized by the DRC embassy in Washington and our lawyer in Congo is working on getting paperwork filed with the municipality to start or court process. So we wait patiently knowing that God has every detail under His control.

However, we did get some exciting news when we were told the two international directors from Lifeline would be traveling to Congo in June and had agreed to make room for a few care packages in their luggage. (YAY!!) They gave us one stipulation, the "package" had to be in a gallon sized ziploc bag!! How in the world was I going to fit everything I wanted to give our little girl in a ziploc bag?! It was tough and the bag was about to bust!!
 We sent her:
-2 dresses
-Headbands, Bows & Barrets
-Hello Kitty Chapstick
-Bracelets & Necklaces
-Mini lotions
-A Thirty-One Bag to carry her goodies in
-A Picture Clutch with pictures of us
-Pink Glow Seahorse
(Kipton has a blue one and doesn’t sleep without it. I wanted to get her a small baby doll, but when I saw the pink seahorse all I could picture was her holding it at night while it lit up the dark orphanage and played sweet music that would lull her to sleep. Bless. My. Soul. There were some tears in Target.)


There are about 30 children at her orphanage.  Most of the items I sent will become communal and thats A-ok with me...hopefully the boys dont have aversions to bows and costume jewelry. ;) I also wrote a note to the orphanage director (in French!) thanking her for caring for our little girl until we can bring her home.

I'm hoping they'll be able to get some more pictures and possibly even a video while they're visiting. Keep Lifeline in your prayers as these directors travel to extend Lifeline's care of the fatherless. One month down only 7-9 more to go....hopefully less!!!

June 06, 2012

Blogger Perks

When I started this blog, it was mainly to keep our family and friends updated on our adoption. I never anticipated that I would be so greatly blessed through sharing our simple story of faith for the fatherless.

Through blogging, I have met so many wonderful women who are also on the same adoption road. I am able to find encouragement when I’m down, have a group ready to cheer when we’ve gotten to a certain mile marker, have prayer warriors just one email away and be able to talk all things adoption 24/7 without being a complete bore. Adoptive mama’s are of a completely different caliber.

Today I thought I’d share a little love to my fellow Lifeline families. There is not an agency out there that is so committed to defending the fatherless as Lifeline. I have had my doubts throughout this process, but I know 150% that we are working with one of the most reputable, Christ centered agencies out there. The Lord is moving mountains through the staff and families of Lifeline. I am honored to be a part of such a wonderful group where the child comes first.

Lindsy was one of my first Lifeline family discoveries. She received her referral of her son the same day we did. She also has an adorable etsy shop!

Lori is currently waiting on a referral for up to 2 kids aged 3-7. She is a faith-filled mama and always has a positive word to say!

Leslie started an awesome adoption ministry through her church in AL and is also a foster parent to a six month old baby boy!

Erin is super sweet and is no newbie to adoption. Her patience in waiting for the children God has for her family is endearing and empowering. Check out her adoption t-shitrts!

Whitney is a momma of 3 and will be adding on 2 HIV+ kiddos from Congo.

Amanda is adopting a sibling set of 3 from an orphanage in Goma. She started a non-profit called Mercy’s Mission to support the children in Goma who weren’t adopted.

Jenni and I met by chance when I bought her triple stroller(!) off craigslist. She is adopting through Lifeline’s China program. I could go on and on all day about what an amazing woman, wife and mother she is! I know that our meeting was orchestrated by the Big Man and I look forward to growing in friendship with her and her faith filled family.

Ladies - I am so blessed to be able to share along your journey's. Thanks for all the kind words and constant support through this crazy roller coaster called adoption. We can advance His kingdom one orphan at a time!!

May 15, 2012

Foster Care

Since we have started this adoption, my eyes have been opened to all types of adoption.  My heart has been moved not only for international adoption, but for domestic, foster care and any child in need of a home regardless of ethnicity or location.

In March, Trey and I began on the path to become foster parents. To date, we have completed all of our paperwork, fingerprints, background checks, fire & dhec inspections, and 14 hours of class training. All that said and done, we're pretty close to being licensed. One final step before we can receive a placement is having a home study done through DSS. We have our appointment this Friday to have that completed and I'm thinking we'll have our first foster placement at some point this summer. :)
We have always heard there is a great need for good foster parents, but never thought we'd be one of them.  It's amazing how God has worked in our lives since we stepped out in faith to adopt.  We know fostering will be trying, but I know the blessings from it will be great. If we can offer a small slice of what a true family looks like to a child less fortunate, that is enough for me.  No matter how long they are with us, we will do everything we can to help them adjust and be as loved and comforted as possible.  It will be a perfect opportunity to plant seeds of hope into the lives of our youth.  Our aspiration is to eventually adopt from DSS, but for now we are content waiting for our African princess to come home and helping children in need of a stable home along the way.

I know there aren't too many resources out there for perspective foster parents, so if you've ever thought of fostering before, I'd be happy to answer any questions I can. If I don't have the answer, I'll try to point you to someone who can. :) I am praying that more ordinary people like myself will respond to the call to become a foster or adoptive parent. All it takes is just a phone call to get the wheels rolling.

Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me... -Mark 9:37

May 07, 2012

We Said Yes

I have not blogged in a while because, well, the last three months have been hard. I have been doubting our adoption plan and pretty much pouting my way through it. (And I mean huge puckered lip about to break down to a tantrum like a five year old quite frequently type of pouting) Of course my dear husband and my best friend have really been the only ones to see this side of me…bless their souls. Adoption is hard. In the times of waiting with no movement in any direction it’s easy to doubt that this is what the Lord has called us to. I’m embarrassed to share this with you, but I know all too well some others going through the process need to know they’re not alone and their feelings are completely validated.

But alas, my pouting and doubting has come to an end. This past Friday as I was enjoying some pool time with a sweet new friend and our kids, I had a missed call from our agency, Lifeline. I looked at Jenni with I’m sure what seemed to be a stunned face and told her I had a missed call from the agency. I had no idea what they wanted but for some reason I was a little excited. We packed up from the pool and on my drive home I called our worker.

When I got ahold of her, she said I know you and Trey were hoping to adopt two children, but would you be interested in hearing about just one at this time? WHAT?! I couldn’t exactly wrap my mind around it. “So, is this a referral call?!” She said yes, it could be. :) WOW, I couldn’t believe it. I told her I’d try to get in touch with Trey and see if he’d be open to hearing about a potential referral. (Keep in mind, of all the weekends we are to get a referral it happened on the one where Trey was away at a men’s retreat with our church…in the middle of nowhere…with little to no cell service. Getting him on the phone would be a miracle.) I quickly dialed his number and prayed while it was ringing…please pick up, please pick up, Lord if this is meant to be make him pick up. Three rings in he said hello!! I was ecstatic. I was trying to remain calm as I told him we have a referral to listen to and wanted to know if he wanted to hear it or not. His reply was “Of course I want to hear it. You didn’t even have to ask me that.”

So I instructed him to stay by the phone and we’d conference him. On our conference call we were told about a 3 year old little girl. Oh my, Oh my, a little girl. As soon as I heard her age and gender it was all I could do not to sob tears of joy. The day was finally here when we were hearing about our potential child, our potential daughter. We listened in to all the details that they had for us and asked lots of questions. Shortly after our phone conversation we received the email with her picture. She is perfect. From the picture, she looks tall and very skinny. Possibly older than three, but that would be ok because our age range was up to five. She has big brown eyes, short curly hair and little pink dress that pops next to her beautiful African skin.

I told our case worker we’d take the weekend to pray about the situation and let them know our final answer on Monday. This past weekend has been a whirlwind of prayer, discussions and divine wisdom and peace from above. There have been several ways in which the Lord led us to the decision we made. I’ll share a few..
When I opened up the email of her information I saw her name started with a K, which goes perfectly with Kipton. I thought that may be a good sign. Shortly after, I spoke with a friend about our referral and she was so sweet and said she was praying for God to show us the answer through an obvious sign, maybe even her name would be a sign and speak to us. I just about died! I said actually her name is significant to us! Then on Saturday that same friend (who is also adopting through Lifeline) was having a fundraising yard sale and one of her customers had the same name we intend to call K. How wild is that?

Another way the Lord led us to our decision was by the timing of our referral. I mentioned we were doubting our path, but I didn’t mention how much so. We were having such big doubts in ourselves that we had even talked about putting Congo on hold. I even told our worker this a few weeks ago and she had emailed for an update last week. My reply was that we were still holding on to the last bit of hope we had for Congo. I could have easily closed the door then, but something was prompting me…just hold on a little longer. Three days later a batch of referrals came into our agency. Isn’t God’s timing funny?

And finally the ultimate decision maker was Gods word. I prayed and prayed for the Lord to speak to me through his word. When I opened my Bible, the first word I saw was daughter.

After much prayer and study, I believe God has given me his wisdom in this situation. His wisdom is pure and holy. His wisdom is considerate, submissive and impartial. His wisdom is full of mercy. It is with his wisdom that WE SAID YES to a little girl in Africa.

February 08, 2012

Take A Look...


Yep, that's right, we have $9500 toward upcoming adoption expenses. Woot woot! This girl is pretty darn happy.

We are so close to being fully funded. So far we've raised just over $20,000 total!! In just 4.5 months...AMAZING! I'm hoping we'll be awarded some grants to help get us to our ultimate goal for bringing the kiddos home. Will you please pray for the grants that we've already applied to? :)

Thanks for sharing in my excitement. My God is the best provider ever!

January 31, 2012

You're Amazing God

Lately, I have been trying to be more intentional when I pray. I don't want unprayed prayers to be the reason for a hold up in our adoption. I want to to live completely by this verse... "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done" -Philippians 4:6. As a woman, my brain is wired to be constantly thinking. I always have something on my mind and often times have a hard time falling asleep at night because my mind just wont quiet down. (Ladies, you know what I'm talking about!) I've resolved to turn my thoughts into a constant streaming prayer. It's been a work in progress but I think it has helped me to be less worrisome.

Today my 3 prayers for my personal benefit were this..
1. Lord, please let us receive an update from our agency
2. Lord, let there be something good in our mailbox
3. Lord, send someone to buy our truck

I prayed these over and over again beginning the moment I woke up and let me just tell you God heard my little prayers. :) Our biometric fingerprint appointment came in the mail today from immigration! This is the only thing between us and our immigration approval. (YAY). Then not 10 minutes after I checked the mail my phone was Lifeline! Our coordinator was calling to give me an update...yay God! She told me that our $3400 payment was processed and we are officially on the Congo wait list!!!! (BIG YAY) I am so over joyed to finally be at this stage in the process. We are so close to seeing the precious faces of the children God has planned for us. Oh my word, I can not even express my sheer excitement right now. :)

So what does this mean now? Our coordinator told me there are 8 other families on the list waiting to be matched, so technically we are #9. That does not mean that we will have to wait for all 8 families to be matched before we get our referral. We are basically all in a big pot and once our Congo facilitator has children that fall within each families specifications they are matched. Some people on the list are wanting infants and some are hoping to adopt older kids. Some want boys and some girls, some families one child others are waiting for 2 or more.  There are differences within each family. We are hoping that we will have our referral within 2-3 months, but we all know that could change drastically. I'm just so excited to finally be on the list!

And no, the 3rd prayer has not been answered yet. That doesn't mean it wont happen though, right?! I mean it's only 3:30pm. ;) Either way today has been wonderful. Thank you Lord for answering my prayers, even though they may seem so insignificant to others, you care for the slightest concerns of my heart. You are amazing and unchanging!

January 19, 2012


Sacrifice (noun) : To give up something you love for something you love more.

This adoption has brought with it lots of sacrifices. We have been stretched and refined on what things are important to us in life and we’ve come to the raw conclusion that we have to make major sacrifices in order to complete this journey God has laid upon our hearts.

Ways which we have sacrificed:
1. I no longer get my nails done & go quite a few months in between hair cuts. This may not seem like a huge sacrifice, but for anyone who knows me knows I’ve had my nails done and hair highlighted on a regular basis since I was 12! Now I’ve opted for no nails and no coloring of my hair, just a trim here and there. (Sorry if I look a bit atrocious)
2. Trey cuts his own hair! :) And still manages to look overly handsome.
3. We eat out (a lot) less. And if we do eat out it is super cheap and normally with a gift card or coupon.
4. We drive less to save money on gas.
5. Our closets are not filled with the latest trends. Honestly the majority of our clothes are way past their prime.
6. The furbabies of the family are eating cheaper food (sorry guys) and their grooming appointments have been pretty much nonexistent. We no longer have poodles, but just mounds of fluff. ;)
7. Our home is normally quite cool, due to us trying to save our electric bill.
8. Christmas was very slim and we haven’t bought gifts for each others birthdays or anniversaries. (Don’t freak…yes, Kipton will get a few gifts for his birthday)
9. We have sold every valuable and invaluable possession we owned.
10. We are currently selling our 2nd vehicle.

When we talk about sacrifice with other Americans, they are baffled as to why we would give up some of our luxuries just to help that one (or two) orphan(s) in Africa. They just can't fathom.

This is my response to that....
We are sacrificing our dining out and grocery budget, but we are not sacrificing food for an entire day just so our children can have one hot meal.

We will sacrifice our health and beauty routines, but there are families losing their children and children loosing parents because they don't have access adequate health care.

We are sacrificing our home temperature a few degrees and our 2nd car, but we are not sacrificing the hours it takes to walk to the nearest village with safe drinking water.

We are sacrificing our trendy clothing when there are people in Congo who are living daily without any clothes at all.

Our sacrifices may seem extreme to some Americans, but to us we would gladly sacrifice it all for the children of Congo.

If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.
Matthew 10:39

January 06, 2012

Ready to be Waiting

I am not very good at waiting. I've realized this and prepared myself that waiting for our referrals would be hard and then once we get our referrals waiting to unite our family was going to be harder. I was prepared to be waiting.

Waiting was the exact spot I thought we were in. We have our completed home study, I've renewed my passport, we're diligently completing our education, 2 agency fees have been paid and we filed for approval with immigration. Everything on my list was checked off. I was just waiting to hear that our paperwork was sent to DRC over the Christmas holiday. Finally we'd be done with the initial process and waiting to see pictures of our babe with big brown eyes and smooth mocha skin.

I was ready to wait.

Unfortunately, it seems as though the waiting won't happen as quick as I'd assumed. There seems to be a little (or not so little) fee I overlooked when I planned out our fundraising tactics. We now are required to pay a fee for our lawyer in Congo before we can officially make the waitlist. The fee covers his time and expertise in finding children who would be a good fit in our family. Once we are matched this fee enables him to start the paperwork process and request court dates, medical exams, etc. The fee($3400) is definitely necessary, just a little unplanned for.

While celebrating on New Years, I was sure this would be the year our family would grow. Kade being home in 2012 was looking like a definite possibility. Now with this little speed bump I'm not so sure. Would you please consider donating to our adoption so that we will officially be waiting for Kade?? The quicker we get the fee paid the better chance we have of making 2012 our adoption year!

Ways to help raise $3400 quickly...
1) Donate (even if it's just $5)
2) Share our blog on your FB, twitter, email and other social networking sites
3) Pray, pray, pray!

I still dream of us traveling to Congo before the year is up. Help us make it a reality!