Wednesday, October 31, 2012

ErgoBaby + Every Mother Counts

Today I wanted to share a bit about a cool little collaboration. Yep, that's Christy Turlington. She heads up an organization called Every Mother Counts and it's main purpose is to spread awareness and help find solutions for preventable pregnancy related deaths. Obviously this is a cause near and dear to us as it's possible that that's what orphaned my own son. I love adoption, but orphan prevention is what gets my heart beating. A super simple way to help out is to buy your baby carrier through the Every Mother Counts line by Ergobaby. We use our Ergo for hours a day (literally). In Adoption Land you get bonus points for wearing your baby all day long, and the Ergo is truly the most comfortable one we've found. So if you're in the market (you can carry a teenager in these, y'all), why not buy this particular one? A portion of the proceeds go to this awesome cause. Plus it features this cool African batik print. Even a husband could wear that and pull it off.

Day 2 Totals for the Seiferts

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

But Wait, There's More...

{My first go at Embrace the Camera. Well, let your husband Embrace the Camera and hope for the best.}

Good morning, guys. This is a totally random post. Kind of. See it's totally relevant to adopting (and also not). I don't know if you've had kids before or not. I'm learning how there are actually way more similarities than differences between adoption and the old fashioned way. And today I'm going to highlight one of those...

After you have a baby you lose your mind just a little. First you are in love and you stare and play with your little one all the time. For like a week. And then the sleep deprivation kicks in and you get emotional. Overwhelmed and exhausted might be theme words for this phase.

Following this is the 'breaking out' phase. This is where the drastic haircut usually takes place (though I fought the urge and was talked down by my stylist this time and merely went for bad-idea bangs. Far less damage done in the end). But anyhoo, this is where I am right now. The 'there's  more to me than babies' place. There's more to me than adoption, actually. And I just need to throw it out there, so here we go.


  • Baking
  • Painting
  • Chardonnay
  • Target
  • Fall clothes
  • Photography (did you know I was once a very successful boudoir photographer, and I still miss it sometimes? I was awesome.)
  • Christmas
  • Crafts
  • Once Upon a Time
  • Businesses of all kinds
  • Fredericksburg, TX


  • I want to bake but I should diet.
  • I want to shop but I should budget.
  • I think high heels are so cool, but I can't wear them. My shoes are mostly frumpy and ugly and that's the truth.
  • When I drink the chardonnay I suddenly think I'm skinny and that maybe I could do with some cream cheese laden snack.
  • I obsess over Christmas, but always find myself last minute shopping and wrapping til midnight on Christmas eve. How did this happen when I started playing Christmas music in September?! I don't know. 
  • I want to move to Fredericksburg, but I have no idea how people make a living there. Still working on that one every day. Anyone want to buy a painting? I could move to the Burg and paint you a picture while sipping on chardonnay...
Anyway, as you can see I'm in the throws of my breaking out phase. Soon I'll emerge a glittering butterfly, confident in myself and my parenting abilities and somehow merge my self as an individual with myself as a mom. Probably in a few more weeks. You'll be there too soon. I might laugh at you a little (as you are free to do to me right now). It's a comical phase. 

Now, ladies, I'm breaking out a bit. The adoption is complete, and now I'm moving right along to the business of leading my family, which means alot more crafts and life in general. You might like that and you might not. If you do, let's move that particular party on over to my personal blog, Artistic Domestic. You might want to follow it by email because I'm not super regular on that one. Just sporadic for kicks. If you totally do not care what's going on in my house, that's cool! Hang with me here and we're going to be back to your regularly scheduled programming. See you tomorrow for some African crisis relief.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

New Week - The Seiferts

Hey guys! I hope you're having a good fall so far. I don't have much to talk about as I don't ever ever ever leave my house anymore, so I'm forced to chat about the weather alot. It gorgeous here in Texas. We only get, like, 6 awesome weather weeks all year and this is one of them. We've also been passing a virus around like crazy for the last two weeks. Let's hope today is my last sick day! Babies are not sympathetic at all. 

 Let's get started with our family of the week, shall we? The Seifert family have just very recently accepted their referral for a baby boy from the DRC. That referral fee is a whopper, y'all! Can we help them recover from that? 

Here's a word from Carly:

We began our adoption journey after two miscarriages and two years of failed attempts at getting pregnant.  We were dreading the long wait for a referral following our home study, but also realized we could use the time to save our money and had several fundraisers planned in the fall to help us fund our adoption.  Then, just three weeks after our home study was completed, we received a referral for a beautiful baby boy in the DRC!  We are scrambling this weekend to secure loans to make up the gap between hat we have saved/fundraised so far and what we owe so that we can send the funds next week and not lose any time with him.  We know we have many other large fees ahead of us, but we trust that God will provide for us and for our little boy, and take care of him when we cannot.

Well, we all know that God will provide, indeed. But He doesn't generally make money fall from the sky (though it would be cool if He did). No, we know that we are the hands and feet and wallets. Let's see what we can do to help them in their journey to give a sweet baby a home.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I made a book!

My husband and I are off to Ethiopia at the end of November. Many of you who know our story may know we have been in the process of attempting to adopt a child we met in the orphanage in 2009. We have been advocating for her case for years and it's hard to find the words to explain the emotions I have experienced. What I've learned the most is whatever those emotions are, I have nothing left but to fall at the feet of Jesus and give it up to Him. What I have also learned is that there are few things in this adoption process that I allow myself to get excited about because of the letdowns we've experienced.

I can tell you, however, I am EXCITED! I made her a book! I was so excited, in fact, that I FaceTime-d a friend and read it to her. Although our little girl is a little older now, probably seven, and could probably handle a regular picture book, I thought it would be nice to create a type of board book for her. I did a ton of research and landed on a company based in Hong Kong. They have a feature where you can design your own photobook. The reviews I read were for the most part good, although customers repeatedly said they lack any customer service and shipping takes quite a while (although only costs $4, go figure), as in up to one month. It took me hours (many of them) to create a 24 page 6x6 book and cost about $26 which included shipping.

I just got the final product in the mail today (took about 3 weeks for printing and shipping) and I AM IN LOVE. It's not completely a board book but the pages are super thick, almost board-like but not. Does that make sense? Well anyway, the quality is really, really good. The pictures are bright, everything is really clear and I can't wait to give it to her. You see, pictures of yourself in Ethiopia are really important, and I'm not entirely sure that not only does she not own a picture of herself, but that she also has never actually seen what she looks like because there are no mirrors in the orphanages. Dr. Purvis talks about how important it is for a child to see themselves and know they are precious. I hope she loves it even a tenth as much as I do.

If you're looking to make a picture book for the child you've been referred, I would highly, highly recommend it. Our book is more about her and less about us because our future with her is uncertain, but I am so glad she will have something to cherish. If you have the time to play around with the software (it's not super user-friendly and takes a little time to learn) and the time for shipping, I'd recommend ArtsNow for the design your own books. The company that has the identical website but is based in the US is UrbanLoad, but I can't speak to the products since I haven't ordered from them.

You can certainly not appreciate the quality of the book from this picture, and the years are based on the ethiopian calendar (they are seven years behind us).

If you've have the opportunity, what have you sent over to the child you've been referred?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Newsflash: Adopting is Actually Parenting

Hey, you guys. I've had a bit of a revelation and I thought I'd share.

When we set out on this little adventure we did it for one main reason. Lots of people have lots of reasons, and lots of people don't like mine, but here's where we are... We adopted a child because we felt like there was enough room in our home and our hearts for one more. I'm going to say it out loud and mean it, too. We adopted as an act of mercy to give a child with no home a family. I know this angle is a bit frowned upon, but there you have it. I'm glad we did it. I'd do it again. I probably will. Because I feel like more people could do the same thing, but until more people actually do there are still millions upon millions of children that need families. 

So we "adopted" and all that entails. We filled out mountains of paperwork, had our incomes and our sanity evaluated, defended ourselves and our choices to family members and strangers alike. We met new and awesome people and were inducted into the community. We waited for the call. We called instead. We flew across the globe (twice) to be united with our son. We did it. We adopted. Done.

But then he got home, and wouldn't you know it, it takes a different act of mercy to parent. That's a far less interesting club. That's a bit tedious and thankless and messy. It's very much like parenting my biological children. Wow, it's actually exactly the same. I'm still frustrated when he wakes me up in the night and when he fights sleep and when he chunks a spoon full of chicken and apples across the room onto the freshly mopped floor. That's just the drill with parenting, right?

But the beautiful comes when I think that I'm there to rock him at night when he's wide awake. And scoop him up like it's the end of the world when he bonks his head. I love the fact that he's got a whole family, four people, who spend almost every waking moment trying to make him smile. That doesn't happen much in orphanages, and he's clearly loving that bit. We'll do any dumb thing to make him laugh.

Anyhoo, I just wanted to say that sometimes the thought of adopting can seem daunting. It's long and unpredictable and expensive and kind of bold. But when it's all said and done, it's really just parenting. As tedious and amazing as that is. And it's life changing for everyone involved. So if you're thinking about it and it seems huge, it is and it's not. And if you're new here, sorry, I don't write profound and inspiring stuff. I know that's disappointing. It seemed like I was really onto something there. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Just A Quick Post...

To tell you that I can't post today! Sorry. My little people and my paintings have me so super busy. I've got awesome stuff in the works though. Would it make you feel any better if I give you a Jude smile?

I love you all. Give the Scotts some money and I'll see you tomorrow, ok?! Smooch. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

New Week - The Scott Family

Happy Monday, you guys. I hope you are enjoying some fall weather where you are! We spent the weekend in the backyard mostly. We got Jude one of those little swings that looks like a plane, and Will and Abby take turns pushing him. It's awesome. He is really loving his brother and sister these days. I'm always saying "Stop! That's too loud!" or "No! That's too rough. He's only a baby!" But then he busts out laughing so hard. I always forget he loves to play rough!

Now let's get on to the family of the week, shall we? Say hello to the Scott Family. They are adopting an infant or toddler from Ethiopia. I'll let them tell you a bit of their story:

Now, you guys know the drill! Let's do what we do here every week. Let's slam that Donate button and help this family out! 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Sleep Strategies for Adopted Children

Hey, you guys! Last night I was up for hours. Again. Starting at 2am. Again. This is wearing me pretty thin. But somehow I just keep getting fatter. Anyway, last night while I was up I got desperate and decided to make the most of my time. Jude and I sat down in the dark and got as quiet as we could. Then we logged on, I whipped out my credit card, and impatiently waited for a miracle cure to my child's sleep issues.

This has happened before. To me, twice. But if you have children, I bet you've been there. Lack of sleep can beat you down, mess with your mind, mess with your days and your moods. And the chasing of those hours can make you crazy. And that's where I was last night. I went loco the night before, but last night I decided to get down to business. This usually follows the post partum freak-out haircut (check).

With my oldest, he nursed to sleep and we pretty much slept together. Not particularly restful for me. But he would not respond to any kind of plans we tried. Abby took to 'cry it out' super fast and easy. She would fuss for about a minute and then out like a light. That was so cool. Jude is totally random. I can't see a pattern and I'm super confused because we've jumped in at 9 months. I don't even remember how many naps he should be having. And on a side note, I apparently totally forgot what 9 month old babies eat! Y'all, we've been feeding him liquid pureed fruits and veggies. I hit up Babycenter this morning and see that other parents are giving their children his age things like scrambled eggs, Cheerios, and cut up tiny bits of chicken and vegetables. He seemed pretty glad that we cut the crap on the baby food today and gave him some real food.

Ok, back to sleep. Well, adopted children have some interesting issues that can complicate bedtime. Fear of the night, fear of isolation, fear of abandonment... All of this and a million other unknowns make bedtime tricky business. So I took this webinar at 2 am. The good doctor basically said forget cry it out for now. But I bet you already had a sneaking suspicion about that. You'll need a couple of months under your belt, at least. After that he gives his blessing in a modified manner if attachment during the daytime is going well. Basically the prescription goes hand in hand with every morbid suggestion and post that I read about cocooning. I kind of hate cocooning. It sort of feels like house arrest. But today I started loving it because it's my ticket to sleep. Apparently the more predictable our day is, the sooner, the better and harder he'll sleep at night. So I rigged up an order of operations and started implementing it. Sleep, diaper, soft play, meal, crazy play/outside time, babywearing, bottle, bed. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. The more boring I am, the less stressed out he is. With older kids he suggests even having photos or cards telling kids what's next.

There were a ton of practical- yes, actually practical, tidbits of advice that might help you along. Definitely worth a listen if you're walking the floor with me all night!

Normally this is the part of the post where I'd show you a peacefully slumbering Jude but I'm scared as crap to click the camera while he's sleeping. I'll just have to tattoo it into my brain. Instead I'll leave you with this one. I commissioned Flor Larios, my favorite artist, to paint a picture of me and Jude. I can't even tell you how much I love it. And it really puts a sweet angle to the whole 'carrying baby around all  day thing'.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Our Girl Graduated!!!

You guys, it's been a while since we helped sponsor Asha so she could go to sewing school. But she's done it. She's graduated!!! Today the Noonday and Matilda Jane collaboration is debuting! If you are looking for some great Christmas presents, why not stop by and see what the girls have made. I'll definitely be supporting the cause so they keep making more!!!

I cried like a goofball when I watched this because we got to play a part in starting this. And we can continue to show our support by shopping their line. It's not much of a sacrifice! The merchandise is amazing!!! 

{Jennifer's Apron, (soon to be Beth's apron), $38}

Thanks to everyone that donated a dollar or more to Asha's education. Her future is indeed looking beautiful and hopeful. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Holidays Are Here

Hey guys, I made something up. A new series. A holiday series and it starts right now. Each Wednesday for the next few months we'll be chatting about holidays. Mostly because I really really really love them. Also because I believe we have a responsibility to do it better!!!

So this week (and throughout the series) we're talking fair trade. There are a million different ways to define 'fair trade', but let me tell you what it means to me and why we're talking about it on an adoption blog. I believe that a huge population of children are orphaned because of poverty. Poverty is what deprives someone of a chance. I imagine the birth moms of most of our children would have chosen dignified work to relinquishing their children if they had the choice. Well, we have an opportunity to 'vote' with our dollar bills, if you will. To tell Pottery Barn and Target and all those other fun places we enjoy shopping at, that we want our dollars to make a difference. For me, fair trade means that someone was given a decent wage and work environment, and thus a chance at improving their lives themselves, and that no one was harmed in the making of my junk.

So with all that heavy talk, let me just kick off by saying that we're going to spend the money anyway. Unless you're not, in which case, I applaud you and that's a totally different post. This one is for people who want to modify, not overhaul, their Christmas. Let's start with decorations! You have to get the good ones early, ya know.

First up, these adorable African huts from Crate and Barrel, made in Kenya. They are so cute you could easily use them year-round.

We have supported the Mercy House in Kenya before. Here's one more way. 

These sweet ornaments are a great way to commemorate a first Christmas home or a 'waiting' Christmas, and they support the Wallace family adoption. I don't know if that counts as fair trade, I'm totally not getting that technical, but it helps out one of our Mamas. 

Leave comments if you've found any awesome decorations that will do more good than harm. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Birthday Tradition

I'm a pretty big proponent of trying to keep your child's birth country culture alive as they assimilate into their new environment. I wish I could remember what blog I read this on (if you know it, please comment so I can give credit where credit is due!), but I read about a family who was adopting a child from Ethiopia. While they were in country, they bought enough Ethiopian items to give their child a present each year until they turned 18. I think this is brilliant. It gives you a reason to do a little shopping and allows you to recognize your child's birth culture each and every birthday. I would imagine your child will cherish many of these things forever.

Some of my favorite things I've brought home from Ethiopia have been a cross that was used in religious ceremonies and processions, a drum with real animal skin and a handcarved, handpainted Oware game.

similar to the cross we have hanging on our wall

similar to our drum


My favorite places to shop are around Churchill Street, near the post office. Make sure you walk up the hill (towards the Piassa) for some shops that are real gems. If you're walking up the hill, you'll see my favorite secrets on the right. You'll also pass Selasse Jewelry if it's back open again. Last time I was visiting, they were renovating and expanding so they weren't open. The ALERT Hospital has a handicraft shop where you can usually meet some of the craftsmen and women who have been affected by leprosy and who benefit from your purchases.


There's also a bazaar I really like that is at the International Evangelical Church near the old airport. I believe it's held every month except during the rainy season. All of the vendors there are selling goods to benefit nonprofit efforts. There are some great things and a great variety there. If haggling prices isn't your thing but you don't want to be completely taken advantage of, this is the place for you.

What about you? Did you buy anything while you were in your child's birth country? Any other places you love to shop or secrets you'd share with the rest of us heading to Africa soon?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Day 1 Totals

New Week - The Seitz Family

Good morning guys! You ready to say hello to our new family of the week? You'll love these two!  Their adoption announcement is one my favorite videos ever, but currently a little inaccurate... You see, when they made this video they thought only one little zebra would be joining the family, but as it turns out, they're twins! 6 month old baby boys! Congratulations, Seitz family!

Not only are the Seitz ridiculously charming and creative, but Natalie (mom) has a gorgeous blog called Little Things Big Stuff. Check it out. And they're fundraiser T-shirts are killer! I'll be buying one today!

You know what to do! Pound that donate button. We'll keep up with totals on the 'Cool Links' button over on your left, OK? Let's see what we can do this week! GO!!!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Week 2

Hey guys,

So we're at the two full weeks home and I thought I'd give you the pros and cons play by play. So here we go:


  • I'm getting the hang of how to get three kids out the door in the morning. Will has to go to school at the precise moment that Abby wakes up and Jude gets sleepy for his first nap. That's tricky, peeps, but I'm making it happen. 
  • I hired a maid. Yes, I did. At least for a while. I feel out of control with my house such a wreck and I'm just staring at it, housebound, holding a baby. I actually chased her down the street when she stuck a card on my door. "Come back! Please, help me!!!" I really said that. I bet she doesn't come back next week. 
  • Jude is getting more comfortable with me and the kids. He still prefers Brandon (who got a bonus week in Ethiopia before he came home), but he's starting to light up for me a little. 

  • The honeymoon phase of fun is over. We're back to the business of laundry and dishes and child rearing and I'm really exhausted.
  • I can't really complain about anything. Because I begged and pleaded and went public and fundraised and everything else. I can't tell the world that this is really hard. Maybe they are watching me and want to adopt. I don't want to say "No, you totally should, it's just that it's really hard." But it kind of is. Because on many levels he's instantly mine and we love each other already. And on the other hand, we just properly met two weeks ago and don't really know each other all that well. Sometimes he just gets upset and will stop letting me comfort him. He won't look at me. I'll try and talk and rock and coo and be sweet, but if he gets in a sad mood, he won't look at me. It breaks my heart that he won't let me help him. He's still grieving and he doesn't even have the words to express it. So that's the hard. 
But the good is really good. It's just that the hard is really hard. Does that make sense? I actually totally don't want to complain on here all the time because I'm still thankful. I'm still having fun most of the time. I actually love my life as mom of three (especially when I work a kink out). But I do promise you that this is one place that we'll be super honest because people really do need to know the whole truth of adoption to be able to make the right decision. So the truth of week two is the goods are better and the bads are worse. These things take time, and I'm honored and blessed to be chosen to be their mom. 

You guys have a great weekend!!!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Day 3 Totals

Keep sharing, keep giving. You guys are super awesome! There's more from me (Beth) later today, but for now I've got to take advantage of a decent nap and get some dishes and laundry done! Send casseroles!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Bonded Forever

Hey guys,

Today's post is by Summer Roughton, our Mama of the week. It's sweet and I love it. I have no earthly idea how to do a proper link-up, but let's all post our blogs in the comment section. And I double dog dare you to visit at least one person's blog and leave a sweet comment.

Also, just in case you missed the coolest blog post on the web right now that totally has something to do with you, head over here.

I had this thought. 
A thought that I thought would be fleeting.
It needed to be written down quickly.
Before it escaped my stressed out mind.
So I got to writing it out on paper towels.
{I really thought it was going to be gone that quickly that I didn’t have time to walk across the room and grab a piece of paper.}

The thought has not eluded my mind, but rather has saturated it.  So deeply that it continues to grow and develop.  I continue to process it.  It is sure to be a thought that is ever changing.  It is the idea of encouragement.  The unique opportunity we have to encourage.  Encourage in a simple loving way.  Encourage those that are in a similar stage of life. 

Here’s how it started: 
Bright and early I received an email from a friend.
A friend who was hurting.  A friend who needed someone to listen. & understand.  A sweet friend whom I have never met.
We are friends because we are using the same adoption agency.  We are friends because we are in a similar stage of life.  We are friends because we have unique bond.  The bond of adoption that allows us to understand the frustration of waiting, the ignorant comments from others, and the deep love we have for a child we have never held in our arms.  But whom we wait patiently (as patiently as we can) for.  

Adoption gives us a unique gift of being bonded forever.  Giving us the ability to encourage.  The chance to allow love to flow from us into the lives of others.  One author describes love as the “fruit” (Galatians 5) from which all others flow.  From love we can experience joy.  Experience peace.  We can encourage patience.  Demonstrate kindness.  We can see goodness.  We can be faithful.  Show our self-control.  We can choose to love those around us- or even those we know from a distance.  That’s one of the beauties of adoption.  We are bonded to perfect strangers.  

Through blogging, I have allowed my vulnerability to be shown to those who adventure into my tiny spot in the world.  A friend encouraged me to write the hard things, as well as the good, in hopes that I might ENCOURAGE someone who may be experiencing the same emotions.  To be honest & real.  Transparent.  As I have read the “hard” of others journey, I have seen hope shine straight through the situation, giving light to a difficult time.  

All that to say… continue to encourage.  Continue to support.  Continue to be honest through the hard times.  You never know who is reading your thoughts.  You may never know whom you can encourage.  Let us strengthen the bond that grows up through the process of adoption, giving hope to those that are a little behind us in the process & looking to others for hope.  Our opportunity is unique.  It lends a voice to those without one.

Summer Roughton

Roughton Day 2 Totals

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

His Boogers Are Mine Now

Hey guys,

I know this is a super weird post because my mind works in a weird way, but I told you I'd share the ins and outs of this whole process, so here ya go.

We met Jude a few months ago. In pictures, he was adorable. Our friends who had met him said he was happy and cute. We painted our own picture of what our life would be like with him here. We named him Jude because we could say it, and we knew no one would know how to pronounce Tegegn. We called him that to our friends and family and to each other. He had kind of an imaginary persona over here. The same as we did with our bios. We picked their names, their 'styles', their favorite animals, and guessed about their personality before they ever made their debut. Anyhoo, when we got to Ethiopia he was quiet and calm. I instantly felt like I adored him; that was easy and effortless. But you don't really get a chance to know each other  in front of other adoptive families, nannies, and guides. It's a tad awkward. Fun and interesting in it's own way, but way different. Anyway, we're there in the transition home and I'm cooing and rocking and all that cheesy mama stuff and as I'm staring at him I notice that he has a massive ball of earwax in his ear. It's gross, man. Browny-orange and gigantic. My first instinct is "gross, I want that out of there". But my fingers can't touch it. It was foreign and weird and repulsive. It bothered me that that was my response. I thought this would be perfectly natural, actually. I left the ear blob where it was and decided that he'd get a solid ear cleaning when he got home, complete with Q-tips.

Fast forward a few months, and my husband meets me at the airport with our brand new bundle. We head home to start our life together. Again, he feels instantly mine, like he's been here forever... until diaper time. His weenie (we say weenie around here, people, because I'm immature like that) is uncircumcised and I've never seen one like this. It freaked me out a bit. His poop was super stank. I gagged when cleaning it. I dreaded diaper changes because everything that came out of his body was kind of like a reminder that he was a stranger. I love my kids, and of course I love your kids (they are darling), and don't tell anybody this, but I don't much care for other people's kids. It's just how I'm built. I started to panic a little thinking maybe he would always feel like someone else's kid. But the only time I felt like that was when he started oozing from various locations. And this really bothered and scared me.

So I prayed a freaky prayer.

Lord, please oh please, let me learn to love every leaking bit of him. Sooner than later. His weenie freaks me out and his poop smells so weird. Please let me see his gross stuff as part of the fabulous package that is Jude and love it all just like the little people that came out of my own body.

And wouldn't you know it, the Lord still answers my most ridiculous prayers just to relate to me in my own language. Sometimes I am amazed. I could feel that God knew that I was struggling with this last little hurdle that would make him feel like mine to me, and he answered it. By the next day I was able to wipe his snot with my bare fingers and wipe it on my jeans just like a good mama. It's safe to say his boogers are mine now, the poop too. He's starting to smell like my perfume and my skin and his skin and his fancy Target hair oil all mixed up together to make his very own smell (that I love). And I am now the proud owner of that bizarre compulsion to pick crusty stuff off of my new baby.

Monday, October 8, 2012

New Week - The Roughtons

Good morning, y'all! I hope you had a great weekend. Our weather is gorgeous right now. I'm all in my sweaters and everything. Of course it gets hot by 9 am, and I have to change, but I'm all into this.

Anyhoo, let's get down to business. We've got a new family of the week, the Roughtons. Mom, Summer, has a neat bit of her journal that she's shared with us. Ladies, you know how it can sometimes be delicate territory when you're ready for a new little one and we've got to get the hubs on board. Well, here Summer shares how that all came about for them.

Our journey of adoption began long before we filed our first application to adopt.  It began in 1999 while I (Summer) was still in college, single, and waiting for the perfect man to make himself known.  It began with a single friend.  A friend I had known since junior high.  A friend I had loved just as long as I had known her.  A sweet friend who found herself pregnant before the time she was ready to be a mom.  The journey that she took through her pregnancy to giving her daughter up for adoption was a journey that inspired me to realize that one day, in the perfect timing God had, I would expand my family due to the gift of adoption.

When I married my wonderful husband Todd, he knew that I wanted to one day adopt at least one sweet child.  I can still remember the response he gave me in the moment I shared with him my desire to bring a child into our home via adoption.  He looked at me with his blue eyes, smiled and said; “Wow, that’s great.  I don’t have a desire too.”  In that moment, I was not defeated.  I was strengthened to pray.  Pray for his desire to change.  Pray without talking about it.  Pray without letting anyone but a few friends know I was praying.  It was my personal plea with God.  Not a plea that I made daily, but rather one that I made when it was placed on my heart.  What Todd did not realize was God placed that call in my life and time strengthen my desire and my prayer for change.  He gave me a charge to adopt someone.  Sometime.  What I did not know was the process was going to take time, it was going to be emotional, and it wasn’t going to go the way that I thought it would go or the way that I wanted it to go.  However, it would go the way HE wanted it to go.  When call places a call on your life, you can’t run from it, you can’t push it into existence, you have to wait for it to come to fruition… if it is really a call from God, it will come.

For 11+ long years, I asked God to change my husbands heart.  About the time I was going to give up and resign the idea of ever adopting, Todd read a book that inspired him towards opening his mind to adoption.  In a small section of the book Radical by David Platt, the author shares of his families call to adoption.  It is not a large part of the book, possibly even a part that some might skip over, but it is a part that captured the heart of my husband.  The part that would inevitably change the makeup of our family forever.  Platt shared how we, as a unit of believers, need to care for those who are widowed and orphaned.  I remember the summer day well, he turned to me and said, “I think I am open to thinking about adoption.”  That statement was a large victory, tied up in a small sentence, giving me hope and strength to continue to pray.  He was open to the idea of thinking…

My prayers became more frequent.  More fervent.  More poignant.  I began to plea deeper with God for that confirmation in Todd’s heart to say, “Yes, lets do this.  Let’s adopt.”  Again, I waited.  I cried to God.  Months went by.  And nothing else came up.  No conversations.  No small glimpses of hope.  I had almost given up again and then a miracle happened.  My own personal miracle.  The day God would show me he was listening my prayers.  That he had heard the heart of a mom who desired to have more kiddos through adoption.  That day, morning actually, will forever be burned into my heart and my mind for the rest of my life.  It was the morning of November 1st, 2011.

First we MUST back up a day or two.  We were on our way up to a friend’s house to spend Halloween with them and their kiddos.  God had knit our family’s together years before, when Kara and I met through mutual friends in college.  She was destined to be my kindred spirit.  When we walked into their house, they met us with the exciting news that they were going to be adopting.  My heart hurt a little.  I wanted that to be me, saying that to them, but it was reversed.  She was telling me all about her journey of praying for Jeff to come around to the idea (sounds familiar), how her desire had started before she had ever met Jeff (ugh) and how she had prayed for a lot of years for Jeff to come around to the idea (yep… she was telling my story).  But Jeff had come around.  He had said he was ready.  I thought I was going to burst into tears right there, in the kitchen, and no one was going to understand.  All I could do was pray.  God give me the excitement I need to show this beautiful family how excited I am for them.  Give me the courage to simply smile at my husband without the eyes of… ‘come on please… why can’t this be us?’  

God granted me those requests.
Those tears were held back.
The joy came unabashed for Jeff & Kara.
And my eyes simply said… ‘one day, maybe?’

Now, it is November 1st.  Monday morning.  Early.  We are on our way home from their house.  We had driven about 15 minutes.  The kids are groggy in the back seat.  I am still in my pajamas trying to engage in conversation to help Todd enjoy the ride home, since I had convinced him to stay one more night and wake up early to get home in time for school/ work.  He turned to me and said, “I’m ready to adopt.”  That was it.  Four words that sent my emotions into over drive.  11+ years of praying.  Countless talks with different friends who encouraged me to just pray and wait.  Tears spilled over the fact that I never thought I would be able to adopt.  Four words that showed me that God alone had changed the heart of my husband.  The next few moments changed our life forever.  My simple response was, “From where?”  To which he said…


The Roughtons have now passed court and are waiting to travel. Thanks so much for your donations and shares. And a bunch of you guys have asked for something and I've made it happen. Look over there to your left. See the button that says 'Cool Links'. That's where I'll be keeping totals (current and past) and links to the family's blogs so you can check in on everyone. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Day 4 Totals

Another good reason to give to the Cash family? OK, when you get your receipt from Paypal it says you donated to John Cash, which kind of made me laugh. :) 

Mossy Rock Designs

Good morning guys! You know, I've had the hardest time finding artwork with black children, let alone mixed families. But guess what? Jackpot. Enter Mossy Rock Designs...

Katie Bradley is an adoptive mom herself, and uses her talents to literally paint the picture of what transracial adoption looks like. Her shop is stocked and she takes custom orders, but here are a few of my favorites prints.

{First Day Home, available here}

 {Hair Time, available here}

{Sweet Dreams, available here}

Aren't you so in love with Hair Time?! It's stinkin' adorable! Anyhoo, she's got tons more where that came from, so head on over and check her out. Every purchase supports her current adoption, so you can totally justify the purchase. It's the right thing to do, really. :)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

once was lost

Through the adoption process we have come to realize that there are a limited amount of fundraising resources for Canadians (Give1Save1 is one of the only American resources I know of that accepts Canadian families working through Canadian agencies -bonus!) . Since the very start of our adoption we knew we wanted to figure out a way to help others fundraise for their adoptions and last month we officially launched our idea.
Insert drum roll here . . .
We have opened up a store on Storenvy where we will be selling t-shirts, bags, and pillowcases (as well as other products over time) with 50% of each purchase going to our affiliates who are families currently in the adoption process. 
It is definitely not an original idea, but it has proven to be an effective one. Everyone needs to buy clothes, why not buy ones that make a difference?
How can you help? Well, I’m so glad you asked!
    1. Since we have just opened this shop up we are currently looking for Canadian and American families in the adoption process that would be interested in signing up as affiliates, so if that is you, or you know someone who falls in that category get them to contact us ( and we can set them up.
    2. Place an order -if you know the name of an affiliate place their name in the notes to seller section when checking out, if you don’t know anyone signed up but still want to help just leave the notes to seller box empty and we will split the money between our current affiliates
    3. Design/Quote/Verse ideas: we are hoping to add more designs over time and would love your input!
For those who are wondering what happens to the other 50% of the money . . . part of it will be used to cover expenses and then any money left over will be used for adoption grants in the future.
Feel free to check out the shop and we would love it if you would place an order to help some families out. Here are a few of our current best sellers:

We plan on releasing new product lines every month starting November 1st, join us on Facebook to stay up to date!