"" Life A Bit Sweeter: April 2013

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

African-American Hair Care & Curly Nikki Book Giveaway!!!

When it comes to taking care of African-American hair naturally and promoting healthy, gorgeous hair, hands down, many of us would agree that psychotherapist Nikki Walton is the go-to expert that many of us follow. Not only does she carry a mean sense of style herself, but Curly Nikki, as most of her fans would call her, is "the most credible online source in regards to natural hair care, maintenance, and decoding the psychological ties between black women and their hair."

As a huge fan myself, I'm excited to share her wisdom in the form of a giveaway. Beginning today, you can enter to win 1 of 3 copies of Nikki's new book, "Better Than Good Hair". The book title in itself makes quite the statement if you're familiar with the old stereotypes of what defines 'Good Hair vs. Bad Hair'. Whether you're a natural hair enthusiast, considering a big chop, want to maintain and grow your relaxed hair, or are a vanilla mommy raising a chocolate little one, you don't want to miss this giveaway. Trust me, you'll thank me. This book is chock full of product recommendation, home care recipes, advice for parents on how to manage their child's hair, and the psychology of hair as it pertains to black women.

Don't miss this great opportunity! The giveaway closes on Saturday, May 4th at 11:59pm Eastern. All three winners will be announced on Monday, May 6th.

To enter, it's REALLY SIMPLE!  
For the first two entry types (Twitter & Instagram), you'll need to copy (right click and save) this Giveaway Badge to your computer. 

The ways to enter are in the image and also in the video below. Take a peek at both and let's roll! I can't wait to send these three copies out. I'm loving mine!

Here are a few rules (beyond what's shared in the video above):
  • Don't forget to come back to the blog to let us know in the Comments Section if you posted via Instagram, Twitter, or made a donation.
  • If you win a copy of the book, shipping is at our expense except if you are outside of the United States.
  • For any comments left on the blog, please be kind. While I love discussions to challenge our thinking, it's important to be supportive and non-judgmental of others. I reserve the right to delete any harsh comments which may disqualify individuals from the contest.
That's it lovelies!

(Adoptive mommies: Please also check out the post, "Ask Anything! A Safe Place for Vanilla Moms & Dads Raising Chocolate Children)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Fear & Pride Pushed Aside....I'm Working to Get My Baby H-O-M-E!

It took a LOT and believe me when I say A LOT of being challenged by a couple friends to put in action the plans to fundraise again. Fear followed by a dose of pride is a mean, toxic cocktail when swallowed. It grips our heart and nearly kills our soul. It  can prevent us from allowing God to move on our behalf.
Because we finished our saving and  fundraising for the adoption over a year and a half ago, I didn't want to have to come back and say, hey we're short some funds. No, we didn't do anything crazy with the funds like adding an addition on to our house -- our donated funds are managed by a third party, Lifesong for Orphans. Part of the deficit that we have is in a very small part because I was a little more modest on projected travel expenses for the two 7-day trips to Ethiopia (travel and in-country expenses). The other really BIG HITS we took in our adoption fund is that the process took much longer than anyone would have ever expected. What should have been a 12-18 month journey, turned into a 3 1/2 year journey to complete and she's still not quite home yet. The longer things take to complete, the more money we've had to spend for document renewals which is by no stretch of the imagination cheap. In fact, we're scheduled to go back to Baltimore in two weeks to do another set of Biometric fingerprinting through the Department of Homeland Security (I mean did my fingerprints change in the last year....go figure!) BTW: I'm very thankful for the extended wait now because when we received our referral, she's a perfect fit for our family. I couldn't imagine any other child, in large part, my own childhood and adult journey has prepared me for some of what she may go through

I've been so afraid of what I THINK other 'people' would think, it's paralyzed me. Just when I thought I had enough money set aside to take care of our deficit, the engine in our truck died. There was no repairing. We were told we'd have to completely replace. Given that we're soooo close to paying it off, I didn't want to buy a new vehicle, especially since we're cutting costs at home to manage the day-to-day expenses associated with a new child. So finally, I realized, okay God, this is still not about me (you'd thought I would have that particular memo memorized by now!) The awesome thing that happens with fundraising is that it brings more people into the journey and also exposes more people to the problem at hand.

So my friends....I need YOUR help! Whether you're a first-time donor or returning donor, please know that EVERY SINGLE BIT helps us to reach the finish line until little Miss Selah is finally upstairs in her crib being loved on by her family. The years have been excruciatingly long but God has done some incredible things in that time lapse. Please consider donating and/or spreading the word. I believe we can do this but I'll be honest...I need your help! Thanks for being a part of the journey!

Much love!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Family Is About Everything That Comes AFTER....birth

Some things just leave you speechless. This video is one of them. With just tears welling in the corners of my eyes, I get it. I just pray that those who don't yet understand adoption and the why's will understand the pain but more importantly understand the LOVE more to get beyond their own hangups.

Help us Rachel...

Rachel Rostad from Voice Media Group on Vimeo.

Saturday, April 6, 2013


You'd think that after 4 years of jumping hurdles, facing criticism, and seeing God do the miraculous through this adoption and in my life, I wouldn't have a problem with fear but I absolutely do. I'm sitting here virtually in tears because just like a 8 year old who fears the needle before the nurse even sticks her, the tears roll because of the anticipation of pain. In my case, it's not pain of a needle but it's the pain of what people will think. Even if they don't say anything, in my head, I've conjured up thoughts about what they're probably thinking. The theme of the thoughts are all about the same and they just swirl in my head before I even start. They paralyze my actions.

Day I overcame fear and did the
 One Day Without Shoes Challenge for TOMS
Lord, I know that this is so much bigger than me. Please help me to push away pride, fear, and the whispers of the enemy to finish this leg of the race strong. I am your child and I am loved in spite of my mess ups and failures. She is your child and she is loved. Help me to walk in boldness and even beyond my critics so that even in this Lord, You receive the glory.

My friend, whatever you are facing today or in this season in your life, know that God has the power to move mountains. But first, you've got to move your feet. Now, let's go!

Monday, April 1, 2013

We Have A MOWCYA Court Date!

This morning I received great news from our adoption agency! The Ethiopian Court has issued a MOWCYA/Birth Parent court date for our case. The date is May 21st! Not to be confused with the court date where Tony and I will travel to Ethiopia, this assigned court appearance is a bit different. I'll share what I know in the way it was shared with me. On this date, MOWCYA (Ministry of Women Children Youth Affairs) is subpoenaed for our recommendation letter, and her birth parent (if applicable) is requested to appear to give their consent for the adoption.

Our adoption agency will be in touch with our family after this date to let us know whether MOWCYA has written a recommendation letter, whether it is positive, and whether the birth parent gave consent for the adoption (if applicable). There is no guarantee that MOWCYA will have written a positive recommendation letter for our case on that day. If a letter has not been written, the court may give MOWCYA a new date, or may just leave the case open and issue our family a court date once the letter arrives. If the letter is not positive, our adoption agency will work with MOWCYA to see if any additional information is needed or missing. There is always the possibility that they can decide to just not write one so we'll just pray that all is in order in Selah's case.

Currently, our agency anticipates that families will receive court dates to appear in Ethiopia approximately 2-4 weeks after a favorable letter is written. Once that date is provided, Tony and I will travel to Ethiopia for a 7-day trip to meet our daughter for the first time (scream!!!!). We'll also stand before the judge to share our intent for adoption. If all goes well here, we still aren't in the clear. We'll have to leave Selah in Ethiopia, as we travel back to the states to wait for the Embassy to issue her VISA date. 

So how can you help? PLEASE PRAY THAT ALL IS IN ORDER AS WE GEAR UP TOWARDS MAY 21ST. Please pray that paperwork is not lost, the necessary individuals show up and produce any needed documentations/verifications, and that all decision makers do whatever God knows to be in the best interest of the child. Team, we're getting so close!!! 

Thanks again for being the village! Love y'all much!

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