"So promise me you'll never forget...that you aren't an accident or an incident...you are a gift to the world, a divine work of art, signed by God. You were deliberately planned, specifically gifted, and lovingly positioned on this earth...Flooded by emotion, overcome by pride, the Starmaker turns to us, one by one, and says, 'You are my child. I love you dearly.'" Max Lucado, God Thinks You're Wonderful

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How is he 5?

I swear this was yesterday. Oh how I miss her. When people ask if we are liking Atlanta and if we think we will stay, I have a hard time not laughing. We love it here, don't get me wrong. But we have so much more in Oklahoma. We not only have our friends and family, we have our birth families that we miss so so much. And as every birthday creeps up, my heart can't help but cling to those sweet moments we shared with each of them surrounding the birth of these miracles. I can't live without them in my life.

And now he's 5. He is an incredible young man. Blake and I are so proud of him for the decisions he makes to love others and serve others. He is sensitive. He is patient. He is passionate. He now wants to be a sword fighter when he grows up. "Well play football and practice sword fighting". Huh? It makes sense to him! He is curious about God and Jesus and wants to know so badly what it feels like to have Jesus in your heart. Oh how I love those talks...

So last night for his special day we let him choose the plans for the day and or dinner. Despite my awesome skills in the kitchen, he chose the local burger joint. Blake surprised us all with ice cream afterwards! Yummo! Do you see it running down her hand? It's possible I picked the ice cream flavor for her. One day I will have to get my own cone!

Isn't he a pumpkin? Sharing with the slobbery baby. He doesn't care. This guy loves his baby slobber and all.

Cooper picked going to park over every other option I gave him for his birthday. Isn't that funny? The park we go to daily. My kids are easily pleased. This is Sadie's first time to climb a real tree. She has mastered the large Crape Myrtles here. In Georgia, the Crape Myrtles are massive and climbable.

The boys had so much fun wrestling in the leaves. I love it because there are quite a few boys the same age that come to the park...they know each other from school. They all joined in!

Opening presents first thing in the morning! HE COULD NOT WAIT!!!

Pushing his sissy. Too bad she hated it. She was screaming!!!

Birthday party pics!!! We had some friends come to play at the park for Cooper's costume party. It was so much fun! Sadie rocking her dress up wedding shoes. It's scary how good she is in heels!

Cooper looks thrilled. These are two of his friends from PreK! He has met such sweet friends at school.

Getting ready to sing! Can you see those cute Star Wars cupcakes?

The kids got to decorate their own Star Wars sugar cookies. Well, that is until Sadie started licking the sprinkles dispenser and the knives. Lil stinker.

We took all of our dress up clothes and costumes. The kids had fun traded costumes and trying on new stuff. We just might have to do this again one year!

I even found a cool Darth Vader pinata.
We have so many things to be thankful for this year. This day I was thankful for new friends in our life that could help us make Cooper feel loved and special since we didn't have our family. I have never felt so indebted to people showing up for this...but I was scared to death no one would come. You know how things get busy and you forget a party? Thank you Jesus for these precious people! And thank you for the sunshine so that we could play at the park!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I am adopted

I love the adoption community. I feel like I've been rather plucked out of it here in the ATL. But, thank you Jesus for using facebook...I can keep my heart intertwined to those I have grown to love that share this passion.

I have "met" people that I never would have through adoption/orphan care ministries, adoption support groups, waiting mom's coffee groups, and yes...even facebook. It's amazing the support and encouragement there is out there if you just search for it.

I saw something a week ago that captured my heart and hasn't left my mind. It's a bold prayer that verbalizes THE reason more of us don't step forward into foster care and adoption. We forget who we are. Read this that was posted by a friend who is a mother in the beginning stages of foster care...

"Today I am thankful for God's adoption of me into his family. He looked at my life's file and saw all the selfishness, and anger and ugliness of my past and present, and he still chose to pursue spending eternity unconditionally loving me as his child. I pray he will give me the strength, grace and mercy to do the same."

If I had a nickle for every time someone told me they would LOVE to foster care/adopt, BUT...

This mom understands that SHE cannot do any of this without HER FATHER. None of us can, but we often forget that. She is no more equipped or ready than the rest of us. But she fully grasps that God can and will use her right where she is. Our lives are about HIM and not us.

Lord, please help us to understand that you died on the cross and forgave us of our sins so that we may live in FREEDOM!!! Not fear. Open our eyes Lord to the many excuses we give you for not obeying you...help us to see that for what it is. Fear. We aren't fully trusting you with every part of us; be it finances, our family, our entertainment, or our hearts. Remind us daily that you adopted us, fully aware of how messed up and needy we are. You took us and called us YOURS knowing we had special needs and that we would hurt your other children. And you did nothing but receive us time and time again with open arms. May we do the same.

Please join me in praying for Joe and Carrie pictured above. They currently have 3children and they are hoping to meet their 4 foster children this week.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Children of God

I am sorry I keep posting videos. But I just can't say it anymore powerful than these people do. I am not good getting out what's on my heart.

I so badly want to be able to do something...and I think that there is an opportunity with our church. I am so excited to see what happens. They have a program called Fostering Together. Their goal is to not only provide more homes for foster children, but allow the church to better support these foster families so that they not only survive the process, but want to continue to foster. We are not going to foster, but we can be a support family to a family already fostering. We can help with daytime care for them!

We still have to be approved and go through fingerprints and background checks and all, but it's just so exciting! After all is good to go they will match us up with a family. We'll keep you posted!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

We Have No Choice

Bold statements here. God calls us to this. We have been made aware. And we have no choice but to do something.

"We should be leading the change on this, it's what Jesus calls us to do."

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


24,000 young adults age out of the foster care system every year...with no one to call their family.

If not you, then who will?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Perfect Morning

This morning all munchkins slept in until 6:30! Then one by one, the bigs all piled into our bed. Blake and I smiled at each other, turned on cartoons and enjoyed the cuddles. And then we heard squeals from Emery's room. We all giggled it was like she knew something was happening without her. Off Owen ran and plucked her from her crib. She rules the roost when it comes to mama. She wants to be the one closest to me. So she climbed right on my chest, fanny in my face and watched cartoons with her big brothers and sister. I can't help but just love it. Oh how full my heart is.

Thursday was a fun day because I surprised the kids with slushes at Quiktrip. When I asked to take a pic, this is what I got. Look at those expressions! Oh my word!! They crack me up!

Look at Lil Bit. She is 16 months people! Yes. Her mama gave her HER OWN smoothie. I know. Tisk tisk. But look at the excitement on her face. Priceless.I think Sadie's smile says "thank you", don't you? I wouldn't let them get in the car until all pink slushy drinks were consumed or in the trash....so they climbed on it. Here she is a bit earlier as we were picking up Owen after school. She found the bag of popcorn for snack and started running with it. I was laughing so hard I could hardly snap the picture. Wrestle mania is one of our favorites...so is Tickle Monster. Emery has learned how to jump on daddy too. In fact, this night she saw Blake roughing Cooper and she walked up to him and slapped his face...hard and gave him the stink-eye. I love it!

With all of these sweet moments with the kids, the smells and sounds of fall, and the beautiful things happening in nature to remind us of God's power...I just can't help but think of foster kids. These videos I've found just linger in my mind and heart. I can't begin to imagine what it must feel like to be that alone. I am a strong, independent, deeply loved woman and I have felt alone here in this new city. And I am a well-adjusted 32 year old lover of Jesus. So being 4 and ripped from my home then shuffled from one home to the next is more than I can wrap my head around. Please pray for our system...pray for loving people to step forward.

Friday, November 4, 2011

1 in 5

Listen closely...please take 5 minutes to watch this.

1 in 5 children in foster care will age out of the system without a family or a home.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

National Adoption Month

Just get ready. If you don't want to be constantly reminded this month of my passion for adoption...just take November off.

But as Thanksgiving approaches with all of the fun festivities we have in our lives for the next 2 months...please remember those without a family. There are children, tweens, teenagers and those aging out of our system daily. IN.OUR.OWN.CITY. Not to mention the millions world-wide.

They know turmoil, not the love of Jesus. They know abadonment, not unconditional love. They know judgement, not acceptance. Please watch this video and pray with me!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Fall Fun

**These are in a really random order, but our family would rather see them random than not at all ;o) **Two Jedi to keep us safe on our night out! Love the intensity of Owen's face! Trunk or Treat at Cooper's school! Emery loved playing skee ball. She wouldn't let anyone else play!

Trick or Treating with the cutest lamb EVER!

Our munchkins!!! Man, they are CUTE!

She was totally amazed that people were just handing her GOBS of "canny". She even thanked God for the canny in her prayer last night! It is her dream come true.

Oh mercy! This neighborhood we landed in knows how to do Halloween! This is our friend Susan...her son goes to the same school Owen does. They go all out people! They had the street closed and police out directing traffic at the crosswalks!

Waiting at the park as the neighborhood gathers to go out together.

Blake made it to the park just in time! We were so thankful!!!

She knows how to pose now! She even says, "chee" for cheese!

Owen had Character Parade at school and they all got to dress up as their favorite book character. Thank you Gigi for helping us find a book about Luke Skywalker!

Making pumpkin shaped rice krispy treats!
Our first pumpkin carving!!! I know!!! We have never done this before!

The kids had so much fun helping!Blake was home in time to do the carving! Cooper! I love the face! The insides are so nasty, huh? So proud!

A petting zoo came to Cooper's school and they told us to bring the girls. What fun!

Emme wasn't too sure

I think she is putting on her brakes Coop. She does not want any closer to this cow!

Cooper and his buddies from school!