"" Life A Bit Sweeter: 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

What's Happening?

So I haven't blogged in a while...mostly because there was/is a bit of a storm that we were trying to get through that almost felt like it was going to steal our dream of adopting. Have you ever gone through something that wasn't because of something that you necessarily did but it still affected you? Those storms are tough but I know they are necessary. The thought of not adopting is painful. It's almost like finding out you're pregnant and then miscarrying...someone may feel as if that is a bit of an unfair analogy but during the course of our marriage, I've experienced two miscarriages and know all too well what that feels like in your heart...this has been what I've been going through. Never for a minute did I think that this adoption journey would be easier, yet I see how it's making me stronger and I'm maturing as a woman more and more. For that, I am so grateful.

So what's next...I'm working with a great young artist to develop the design for t-shirts. We were going to work with a third-party to sell their shirts but after researching it more, it looks like it will cost so much more to go that route. This way, we get to get really personal. It feels great to be moving towards progress. Until next time....embrace compassion for others!

When you get a chance (hopefully right now...smile), check out what's been going on in the life of Ms. Katie and her amazing 12 daughters...that's right, I said 12 and Katie is 20.... http://kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com/

Much love to you!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

55 and Counting....

Technology is absolutely amazing!  Yesterday, we decided to start a Facebook group centered around our adoption journey.  We were soooo pleasantly surprised by the number of family and friends who joined the group.  As of typing this post, we are at 55 members.  As I told that crew, that did so much to my heart.  It's like receiving 55 big hugs and kisses.  Speaking of hugs, here's a captured moment of CJ and  MJ showing some brotherly love.  Can't wait to get little Miss McKinney in the middle of these hugs.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Yep, so today was an absolutely great day!  I really enjoyed a wonderfully peaceful day with my family.  It was also the first time that I've ever taken care of all the food for the entire Thanksgiving meal!  I really wanted to do a Sandra Lee sort-of 'semi-homemade' dinner.  So here's how it went down with the menu:

  • Cajun Deep Fried Turkey (Popeyes....oh so good and moist...will do it again for Christmas since it only take 1 hour and 45 minutes to reheat....you literally do nothing at all to it).
  • Spiral Glazed Ham (Yep, you know it, take it out of the wrapper, heat for 2 hours and add the brown sugar glaze...yummy!)
  • Collard & Kale Greens Mixed (used the bagged pre-washed, pre-cut greens and just created a broth to cook them in with 3 smoked turkey legs)
  • Mashed Potatoes & Gravy (used Trader Joe's frozen potato medallions...just add milk, butter, salt and they are oh so creamy!  The gravy came from Popeyes because I love it sooo much!)
  • Candy Yams (used Trader Joes' sweet potatoes that are already cut, skinned, and ready to be cooked...i boiled them, add a homemade syrup, baked them and then let the broiler hit them for a little while to get that carmelized effect.)
  • Apple & Sage Sausage Dressing (no shortcuts here...all homemade)
  • Macaroni & Cheese (used my mom's simple macaroni and cheese recipe that will be in the adoption cookbook.  the only thing i changed was that i used medium pasta shells instead of elbow macaroni....very, very good!)
  • Cranberry Relish (this came from Sam's club.  it was their Member's Mark brand...perfect balance of sweetness and citrus tangy flavors)
  • Buttered Carrots (used gourmet petite carrots that are often found in veggie trays.  they are smaller than the baby carrots.  i just put them in a pot, added butter, a little sugar and salt and voila!)
  • Rolls (that would be old faithful....brown and serve.  from the time that i was a little girl, i've loved the brown and serve rolls on thanksgiving day more than any other bread so i couldn't deviate here.)
  • Pumpkin Tart (this came from Trader Joe's.  if you like Sweet Potato pie, you'll love this tart.  CJ - our 10 year old killed this pie.  the poor pie never had a chance....thankful that i had them put 2 of them on hold for me so there's more left for tomorrow!)
  • Gingerbread (this came from the Dutch Amish market.  MJ - our 8 year old started sneaking out with this EARLY in the morning!)
  • Poundcake with Strawberries (i went with Entemann's All Butter Pound Loaf.  i took strawberries, sliced them, added sugar, and allowed them to marinate in their own juices.)

While I am thankful for all of the goodies that I had today, here's a short list of what I'm MOST thankful for:
  • My relationship with God.  I love the way that He is maturing me into a woman that is a better contributor to my family and society.
  • My husband.  Although he fits into that big category of family, he really does deserve his own line of thanks.  We've been through so much together and I'm so appreciative of the greatness of his love and the way he exhibits his love for me...thank you baby.
  • My family.  They really help me stay focused on remembering that family is so much greater than everything else that tries to crowd out my life.  Even when I mess this up, they are so generous with their love.  Thank you!
  • The adoption.  I am so honored by the way that our lives and hearts are changing because of this little girl who has possibly not yet been conceived nor entered our lives yet.  I am thankful to God for putting this burden on my heart  for orphans and then giving us the vision and courage to adopt in spite of the obstacles.  Thank you God for breaking my hearts for orphans.  I cannot see their plight and then not be moved to action. 

What about you, what are you most thankful for?


    Saturday, November 14, 2009

    Court Date

    I am so excited for one of my blogging buddies who finally received a court date for their little bundle of joy. Congrats http://threeplusone--ethiopiaherewecome.blogspot.com/

    Celebrating with you!

    Wednesday, November 11, 2009


    In this journey, I am constantly amazed at the enormity of God and how much He cares. I've heard people say before where God gives vision, He'll give provision. Today, when I went to the mailbox, I was absolutely FLOORED by the generosity of friends that we've met through the adoption blog world. (You know who you are! Thank you and thank you again!) We were blown away by the heartfelt financial gift we received.....it totally blew us away! The fact that God used someone who we would have never met otherwise to breathe more life into this vision is HUGE!

    Whatever you are believing God for, if He said it is for you, it will be done. Just remember, just because He said He would do it, doesn't mean you'll be exempt from storms and challenges. As Jon Ortberg title book reads, "If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat."


    Monday, November 9, 2009

    Something's Brewin' In The Kitchen

    We're working on an exciting fundraiser for our adoption to bring us steps closer to bringing our baby girl home.  Stay tuned!!!

    Saturday, November 7, 2009

    Just for a Moment....Jayden Elijah McKinney

    He was here for just a moment in time....Jayden Elijah McKinney.

    Yesterday we had a memorial service for our nephew who was born this past Sunday night and left us the very next day.  While his life outside of his mommy's tummy was very brief, he made such a great impact on all of our lives.  Instead of in our arms, he rests in the Father's loving embrace.  While some will do their best to make attempts at explaining the purpose for his short life, nonetheless, he is a member of our family that we all will miss.  Even still, we trust the plan of God. His service was beautiful, simple, and sweet. 

    Forever in our heart little man!

    At the close of the day, I was so grateful for the time that we all spent together as a family just lovin' on each other, laughing, and enjoying the healing that sharing food together can bring. 

    Friday, October 30, 2009

    We're Pregnant!!!!

    Yep, we're pregnant....well at least in the paper adoption world we are pregnant. Basically, this means that our agency accepted us as clients and will represent us in the adoption process!!!! This is HUGE news for us. We are beyond thrilled. It's been a long few weeks but God has been faithful in working things out on our behalf. I'm oh so grateful to have a supportive husband who when I got nervous, he continued to have great faith that we would be approved! So here's to good news!!!

    Sunday, October 25, 2009

    Always Asking for Confirmation (Part 2)

    So here's the piece from Joel Osteen's Book Your Best Life Now for Moms that encouraged me and made me feel as if God just kissed me from Heaven:

    God Is On Your Side

    As a woman, perhaps you've considered what the Virgin Mary must have felt like when the angel told her that she would conceive without knowing a man.  In other words, God was saying it would happen through supernatural means.  The power of the Most High God would come upon her and cause it to happen by His Spirit.  And the reassurance given was profoundly simple:  "For nothing is impossible with God" (Luke 1:37)

    Similarly, God is constantly trying to plant new seeds in your heart.  He's constantly trying to get you to conceive, to give up antiquated ideas, and spark new bursts of creativity within.  He's trying to fill you with so much ope and expectancy that the seed will grow and bring forth a tremendous harvest.

    Will you allow that seed to take root?  It starts by being willing to change your thinking and start believing for something bigger.  Interestingly, when Jesus wanted to encourage His followers to enlarge their visions, He reminded them, "You can't put new wine into old wineskins"  (Matthew 9:17).  He was saying that you cannot have a larger life with restricted attitudes.  Will you stretch your faith and vision and get rid of those old negative mind-sets that hold you back?

    Get beyond the barriers of the past and expect God to do great things in your life.  Start making room in your thinking for what God has in store for you and your family.  You must conceive it in your heart and mind before you can receive it.  The key is to believe, to let the seeds God is placing in your life to take root so they can grow.  Expect God's favor, just as Mary did, to help you break out of the ruts and rise to new heights.  Expect to excel inwhatever you do.

    This is your time for increase.  You may have been sick for a long time, but this is your time to get well.  You may have a child who is bound by addictions or bad habits, but this is the time to be set free.  You may be struggling financially, but God is not limitied to bank loans or having the right education.  It can happen in spite of your past and what the critics are telling you.  Will you believe?

    Eliminate a barely-get-by mentality and let God's seed take root.  Remember:  With God, all things are possible.

    Consider God's Word In Light Of Motherhood

    But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary.  You have found favor with God.  You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus."  ~Luke 1:30-31

    "It shall be done to you according to your faith."  ~Matthew 9:29 NASB

    Always Asking for Confirmation (Part 1)

    Time after time after time again, I've asked God for confirmation on this adoption. Mostly, because it's so huge and many times I feel so unworthy of such a beautiful blessing. Yet, in spite of all my imperfections, I'm so thrilled that God loves me in spite of my shortcomings.

    With the adoption, it's sort of like a rollercoaster ride. Some days I'm up and just know it's going to happen and then other days, I'm a little scared, nervous, and apprehensive. Most days though, I'm excited.

    On Wednesday, October 14th after a long and exhausting meeting at work, I headed to pick up my honey from work but had a little time to spare. Because of this, I decided to waste some time wandering around the stores near his job. As I'm walking through the store (and truly, I'm walking through leisurely because I don't want to spend any money), I stumbled across a book by Joel Osteen called Your Best Life Now for Moms. It was a cute, small book but for some reason I was drawn to it. As I cracked it open, here's the entry that held me captivated and made me feel as if God had something to say to me just at that very moment in my life....

    Sunday, October 18, 2009

    Pregnancy Test!

    So in adoption world, I would comparatively say this is the week that we find out if we're pregnant!  What?  Huh?  Well, in essence, what I mean is that this is the week that we'll find out if the agency where we submitted our adoption application will take us on as clients.  They'll weigh their criteria against our information to find out if we're match.  Beyond 'their' plans, we are looking for God's Will in the process.  Our will, our choice is that we get a big fat YES yet we are yielding to the will of God to allow Him to have His way.  Just like parents who are trying to 'plan their pregnancy', we are so excited and really hope that we're PREGNANT, so to speak.   We'll see!!!  Stay tuned!

    Our Prayer and How You Can Partner in Prayer With Us:  Lord, you know what we want but allow us to continue to keep our minds and most of all, our hearts stayed and focused on You so that You will receive the glory.  It's nothing that we can 'do' to 'deserve' any of this.  We just ask that you would use us through all of this.  May Your Will be done.  Amen

    Saturday, October 17, 2009

    We Submitted Our Application

    We did it!!!  We submitted our preliminary application to the adoption agency last Saturday.  I have to tell you that I was very apprehensive about posting this information.  It's not because we're not excited but it's been more so, what if we are rejected?  I have really appreciated the words of encouragement and your prayers.  Right now, it's in God's hands to walk us through this process and truly, I couldn't imagine anyone else I'd prefer to hold this in their hands.  So, until then...we're just hangin' out in the waiting room!

    Sunday, October 4, 2009

    Opened up the Adoption Checking Account!

    So SUPER excited because we opened up the adoption checking account which will hold all of the funds we use to pay for our adoption expenses.  To get things going, we've also started collecting 'spare change and dollars' at home.  Whenever we have leftover change, find money, or before we spend on anything frivolous, we have to put money into the baby bottle banks.  There are two of them in our house so far.  One is for the boys and it says "Our Sister" and the other is for Tony and me and it says "Our Daughter".  The boys also add money to the bottle from their allowance to help bring their sister home. Hopefully, we'll be able to go to the new bank account each week to deposit money into the account.  As we save and receive love gifts from others, we'll increase our savings gauge that you'll see on the right side of the blog.  It's so tough spending now because every time I think about spending a dollar on something other than the adoption, I think "This is one dollar taken away from bringing my daughter home."  That definitely helps me to keep things in perspective. Here's to saving!!!

    Saturday, October 3, 2009

    It's Been a While...Met With Someone Really Cool Yesterday

    It's definitely been a while since I was able to post.  Life has been pretty full at home and work but yesterday , I was able to take a pause from it all to talk to someone who was a real blessing.  Yesterday, I met with a really cool mom in my local area who is also adopting from Ethiopia.  (Can't mention her name just yet because I forgot to ask her if I could.)  It was so BEAUTIFUL talking to her because she put so many of my fears to rest.  Her family just recently accepted a referral for a beautiful baby girl.  She shared a wealth of information with me including what to do and what not to do.  In talking to her, I learned or was reminded of a valuable lesson.  No matter what you're doing in life, it's always great to walk alongside someone who you can lean on or who has 'been there, done that and has the t-shirt to prove it'.  They'll be there to celebrate with you and cry with you.  And sometimes, just sometimes, everybody is entitled to have a pitty party where they can share the rawness of their fears and anxieties without being judged or told 'Don't cry.'  The great thing about that person who walks alongside you is that when the pity party is over, they'll help you put away the party hats and cheer you on as you walk through the valley of your storm.  I know without fail that God is my rock but it means so much to have someone here on this earth that I can lean on as I move through the various chapters and challenges of my life.  For whatever challenges you face in your life right now, who do you have walking alongside you? 

    Many thanks to my new special friend.  Your words, smile, laughter, and listening ear meant more to me than you'll ever know. 

    Monday, September 21, 2009

    Facing Giants & The Phases of the Ethiopian Adoption Process

    Okay...so there are of course LOTS of things to do to get started with the adoption process.  There are basically four phases of the Ethiopian adoption process.  They include:
    1. Application & Paperchase ($4,455 to $7,105)
    2. Dossier Submission & Waiting ($7,700)
    3. Referral & Travel ($9,420 to $13,070)
    4. Post-Adoption ($1,085 to $4935)
    The cost of each of the phases and the items embedded within each phase can vary from agency to agency and state to state (depending upon where you live).  I've provided the ranges from the low end of the spectrum to the very high end of the spectrum.  Over the months to come, I'll blog about where we are in each of these phases. 

    For now, I'll share where we are right this very moment.  It's what I call the "Preliminary Phase".  Here's a list of things that we needed/need to complete as soon as possible.

    1. Begin sharing the news of our adoption with family and friends. (9/9/09)
    2. Start a blog to talk about it.  (9/14/09)
    3. Research and select an agency.
    4. Create a plan to save the money needed to fund Phase One of the adoption process.
    5. Open a separate checking account to use for all adoption-related expenses.
    6. Meet financial milestone for Phase One of adoption process:  $6,000
    God:  I have to tell you that when I see these numbers, it is quite intimidating but I know this is Your vision and not our own so I'm believing that You will partner with us to make provision.  Help us to get out of our boats of safety and comfort to have the faith to trust you to walk on this spiritual water.  Please guide us along the way and strengthen us in You when it seems like too much to handle.   Out of all the voices calling out to me, I will choose to listen to the Voice of Truth.  Amen

    Friday, September 18, 2009

    Thanks for Talking Me Off the Ledge

    It's always great to have someone that can give you perspective.  Many times, it's my honey, Tony.  This morning, it was my ever loving big brother, Mike.  If you've never heard me talk about my brother Mike, what rock have you been under???....I'm only serious (smile).   Straight up...he is so special to me.  Since we were little kids, I have always looked up to him and mimicked what he did...sometimes it got me into trouble....(hey mike....remember cutting the arm of the couch with a razor blade or how about spilling a slurpee into the tv....sorry I digressed...now back to his good points...smile).

    Yesterday evening, what began as a great day of opening up our adoption application packet, ended up in questions of anxiety such as "what if this doesn't go right..what about this....what about that?"  It was really ridiculous because I was working myself into a panic about stuff that really is not an issue.  It was just that the amount of information that you have to fill out is incredible.  So I was really going off the deep end.  I was up at midnight sending out Facebook updates about my anxiety.  My cousin Shelly helped me out initially with some comforting words and I was off to sleep only to wake up in the morning with the same worries.  So I called my brother Mike and was able to share what was going on with me.  Since my dad is no longer alive, his voice is sometimes the voice of reason for me.  If you were fortunate to have a strong, positive relationship with your dad...you may know that it's like your dad saying "Everything is going to be alright."  Just at that moment, your situation hasn't changed but because daddy says it's going to be alright, you feel so much comfort.  That's what my big brother voice of influence is to me.   (Now don't get it twisted.  My husband is not intimidated by this.  He understands the relationship that my brother and I have, what we've been through together through childhood and he celebrates it.)

    So today's post is dedicated to my brother Mike.....my hero...big brother....and friend.  I love you babe! You have been a remarkable influence in my life. 

    Thursday, September 17, 2009

    We Opened Our Application Packet

    If you remember yesterday's post below, you know that I was extremely anxious to open up our adoption application yesterday but had to wait.  So today, we opened it up as a family.  It was sooo exciting.  While this may not seem like a big deal, for us it certainly was today.  I'm not sure if I can compare it to the day you find out you're pregnant or when you decide you and your spouse are going to actively try having a child.  Whichever it is, I can remember both can be pretty exciting....well, depending upon where you are in your life and your thought process on having a child at that particular time.

    Today was a great day to a beautiful end.  I can't wait to start exploring the papers.  I've started browsing through some of the details and to be honest, wow...it is definitely VERY thorough the amount of information that will be investigated.  At the same time, it's a great thing that this much detail goes into the investigative reports.

    Keep us in your prayers....we're just getting started!!!  

    (P.S.  Just in case you were wondering...Mekhi's eye is looking a little funny because he collided into his friend Miles on the basketball court at aftercare today...little boys are so rought...can't wait for the dainty little girl to arrive...smile)

    Got the application BUT....

    So I've been like a little kid waiting for the adoption application papers to come in the mail.  Okay, so I know I just requested the papers a few days ago but a girl can dream, right?  I mean I've been checking the mailbox EVERYDAY, including the  day after I submitted the application packet over the internet.  While we haven't finalized our selection of a particular adoption agency, America World is where we are leaning and I've been waiting for their packet.  So today when I got home from work, I did what I've been doing...went to the mailbox before I even backed the truck into the garage....and NOTHING... :-(   oh well....there's always tomorrow.

    Today, Tony wasn't at home waiting for me to get there because he went to the golf course with a friend right after work.  He swung by the house earlier just to pick-up his golf clubs but then he was out.  So the boys and I went on in the house and started our daily wind down routine...change uniforms (them), back the truck into the garage (me),  get a snack before dinner (them), start/finish up dinner (me).  As I went into the kitchen I saw a cardboard mailer envelope sitting in our Reading Room...WAIT!!!!  Oh my, SAY IT ISN'T SO....COULD IT BE????  IT WAS!  There in all of its beauty was a white large cardboard envelope with baby blue stripes .  The envelope had stamped on its front "America World Adoption...To build Christian families according to God's design of adoption."  WOO HOO!!!  YES!  I can't wait to open it but WAIT!!!....there's one problem....my honey isn't back home yet.  He had gotten the mailer out of the front door but didn't pay attention to who it was from.  This sucked because I wanted us to open it together.  I wanted a family picture on our front steps with our family holding the envelope to capture that moment....so gotta wait some more.

    I went on into the kitchen, got dinner started and was sure that my honey would be home in the next hour while there was still daylight outside!  I assumed that Tony went to the golf course up the street from our house but nope...today he and his buddy decided to go to the golf course in DC.  Little by little the daylight turned to dark and my dream of taking our pic on the stairs slowly faded.

    I called my next door neighbor, Alethea, and in her sweetness she said we could wait until tomorrow morning and she'd come over to take the photo before we all left in the morning.  Great idea BUT the mailer would taunt me...beg me to open it, right?  She said, "No.  Put it away where you won't keep looking at it."  So until tomorrow morning, away the envelope goes so that it doesn't keep calling my name....Michelle....Michelle....Michelle....I know you want to see what's inside."  Good thing I had a long day at work because I'm hitting the sack and if I go to sleep, the morning will just get here faster!  Until then...good night!

    In the meantime, here's a tribute to my days (and days to come)of waiting for the Postman...yep, we're going way back....

    Tuesday, September 15, 2009

    Why Adopt Internationally?

    So the question that we get right now is why adopt internationally?  Why Ethiopia?  I really wish there was a quick straight-forward answer to those questions but there is not one.  The short of it if you don't have time to read the detailed post below is that we whole-heartedly believe that God has chosen this for us.  It's part of the reason why we were created and part of why the two of us were joined together in marriage.  It's to also show the power of God in all situations.  If you'd like to and have the time to hear the details of God's hand in moving our hearts to this, take the journey with us below...

    Since the time that Tony and I married in 1998, we've always talked about the possibility of adopting.  Part of it started with me because I was adopted by my family.  Although the family I was adopted into was my birth father's brother, I've always appreciated that I had somewhere to go and didn't get caught up in the foster care system.  Because of this, adoption has always been special to us and a consideration for our own family.  Even after both of our boys were born, we still wanted to adopt; however, our thoughts were always centered around local adoption.  International was never a consideration and frankly it never even crossed my mind.  Add to that the fact that I hated traveling even on family vacations.  I despised being in one place just riding.  I just wanted to get there.  I sometimes wished I were like the lady from the old show 'I Dream of Genie' because with a quick nod of my head, I'd be at my destination.  Furthermore, I've never had an awareness or should I say honestly, an interest in international mission trips.  As time progressed and the years flew away, our oldest son, Anthony had a baby girl and after having her at the house for a couple of nights, we were CLEAR that we didn't want to adopt anymore.  She's a sweetheart but having a baby full-time was not what we wanted anymore. We didn't want to change diapers, pay for expensive childcare, get up for late night feedings, sterilize bottles, teach someone to use the potty and I think for me, as the only lady in the house, I selfishly began to enjoy all the attention of being my husband's 'little girl' so to speak.  I enjoyed laying my head on his chest and cuddling with him.  In my head, a little girl would take my place in his arms and on his chest.  Selfish I know but that's where I was.

    And then it happened, on September 1st at 10:04am.  I tweeted these words on my Twitter page which I can't seem to fully explain: 

    "Today, I am learning that my world is so much larger than what I see, touch, and feel everyday.  God what are U doing?  What are U saying?"

    It was Tuesday morning and I was surfing the net for grocery coupons and getting my grocery shopping list together.  For a while, I could feel a softening of my heart of some sort.  It wasn't a physical softening where I was having trouble with my heart.  It was more like a compassion for something was opening up but I had no idea what was going on.  It was beautiful what I felt inside my heart yet it's so difficult to explain.  Then at 12:04pm, I added these words to my 'maybe' list of Things I'd Like to Do on my regular blog:  "Maybe adopt a little girl from a foreign nation."

    I couldn't believe what I just wrote.  Not me.  But even still, in writing this I was amazingly okay with it.  The only apprehension I had was wondering what others would think.  First, what would Tony think?  We were resolved about this whole adoption thing.  The second biggest thing I worried about was that we were just getting to a place financially where we were changing how we looked at money.  We were focusing on rolling back the debt and certainly adopting from a foreign nation doesn't roll back the debt...it rolls up the debt.  But even still, it wasn't the apprehension of being able to afford the adoption that concerned me.  It was the worry of how a few people closest to me who knew about our past finances and the progress we were making would react.  In my heart I was okay because it wasn't even a definite yet.  I kept it on my 'maybe' because I wanted to be sure that this was a God thing and not just some whim.

    I ended up talking to Tony about it and he thought it was a great idea!  WHAT???  My husband thought it was now a GREAT idea.  I mean he was actually onboard with it?  At that point, we were both at so much peace about the adoption.  I also shared with him this unexplainable heart for Ethiopia that I felt was God's leading.  I showed him the statistics about Ethiopia, some of the adoption stories, and how much I had cried since being drawn to Ethiopia.  He agreed that we would pursue a baby girl from Ethiopia.  In praying about it, asking God for repeated confirmations, talking to one of our Pastors about it, we were confident that this was God's vision and not one of our own.  We were also certain and at peace that because this is God's vision, He'll provide the resources. It doesn't mean that the road will be easy.  We know we'll have to sow much and are prayerful that our friends and family will partner with us in small and large ways.

    What's so amazing (and funny) about what God has done in our hearts is everything that we said we weren't going to do, God has turned our hearts to do that exact thing.  When you look back at the paragraph explaining why we didn't want to adopt, every single reason was because of something selfish that we didn't sacrifice.  When we made the decision not to adopt, we never one time asked God to show us if that was His will for us.   We just wanted what we wanted...a comfortable life where now our kids were self-sufficient and we could continue to pursue our wants and we just really thought that raising another child just didn't fit into that equation.  So guess what, the traveling I despised so much, we're going to have to travel approximately 2 1/2 days just one way to pick-up our little girl.  We'll stay for 7 days in a land that is not gifted with luxury hotels for our accommodations.  We'll be at a guest house and in some seasons depending upon when we go, we may not have electricity every day.  We'll have to fly back another 2 1/2 days to bring our sweet baby home.  The funny thing in all of that is I am okay and actually excited about that day....the day that I get to meet her face-to-face and hold her in my arms.  The difference now is that we have exchanged our will for God's Will.  Thank you Lord for helping me to learn to give up what I think in my life is good, for what you know in my life is BEST.

    Thanks for allowing me to share and put this on record so that one day we can go back in time to this post and share with our little girl the miracle of how she came into our lives.

    Peace and blessings to you,

    Monday, September 14, 2009

    Our Big Announcement...A Baby Sister???

    "Whatchoo talkin' 'bout Willis?"  That's the famous line by Arnold of Different Strokes.  (If you're tryin' to figure out who is Arnold or Different Strokes, well baby, you're just too young to know..smile).

    In any case, you may be asking yourself that exact same question.  A Baby Sister says the heading of the post.  Michelle, what are you talking about?  I mean you're the chick that has clearly stated over and over that you're finished having children...in fact, you had your tubes tied (okay, maybe TMI --too much information--for some).  So what's going on???

    Well, Tony and I are beginning the process to adopt a baby girl from Ethiopia and we are soooo excited.

    What?  How?  Why?  Are you sure?  More to come later this week so stay posted!

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