Monday, December 28, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Remembering "Gotcha Day"

In the world of adoption, you often hear the day of placement referred to as "Gotcha Day." Well, today is Andrew's Gotcha Day! It was one year ago today that we brought this little guy home:

And just look at him now!

We love you Andrew!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Andrew!

Our big boy is one year old today! Here's some shots from the weekend birthday festivities:

We had a fun weekend celebrating Andrew's first year of life, and December will always be a month of memories for us. This month we'll be rembering....
...when we got "the call" about Andrew (the 16th )
...the first time we saw Andrew (the 18th)
...the day we brought him home(the 23rd)
It's been a wonderful year, and we are so thankful for God's goodness to us in bringing this little boy into our family!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving! So much to be thankful for, and a great time was had with the family. Here's some shots from the big day:

Ready to go to Grammy and Papa's

Grammy and Andrew

All the grandkids had their turn on Papa's tire swing

Grammy had all the grandkids make Christmas ornaments.

The cousins had their Christmas gift exchange (we won't all be together at Christmas).

Andrew decided Papa's belly made a great pillow!

When Andrew woke up he was jammin' with the headphones.

Luke, wore out from all the excitement, decided to take a nap.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

How to parent a child of another race

I have heard lots of theories and ideas about how to effectively parent an adopted child of another race, and think some of them are very wise. However, what really stirs my heart is to hear from an adopted child whose parents are of a different race. I want to know what these kids think, feel, and say. I want to hear from them what it was like to be black and raised by white parents. We want to do everything we can possibly do to make Andrew rejoice in the fact that we adopted him, and I feel it is very beneficial for us to listen to older adopted kids in order to know how to do that.

We don't know any families that have adopted transracially and have older children, so I haven't had any older kids to talk to about this. That's why I was super excited to see the following two posts on the ABBA Fund and Together for Adoption blogs. Both posts had interviews with older kids that were adopted transracially. These kids both seem so mature and have great relationships with their parents, and their comments gave me a lot of really good insight into how we can raise Andrew. If you have adopted, or are considering adopting, I highly recommend watching/reading them.

The first one is a video that was posted on the ABBA Fund blog. It is an interview with a bi-racial young man and his white adoptive mother. I hope someday that Andrew and I can have the same relationship that this mother and her son have!

I loved what she said about not realizing how "white" her world was until she adopted bi-racial children. I have noticed the same thing, and it was nice to hear her wisdom on how to handle that.

The second post I found is an interview with Talitha Piper. (Talitha Piper is the daughter of John Piper.) You can see a picture of Talitha with her parents here. You can read her interview here. Her words are so wise for a fourteen-year old!

These two young people gave us many good things to think about and meditate on as we seek to raise our precious little guy. Adopting transracially has some added challenges, but after 11 months of having Andrew we can attest that is soooo worth it!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My co-op class

This past semester with our co-op I have had the privilege of teaching the younger boy's U.S. Geography class. It's been lots of fun. Here's a group picture I took today:

Saturday, November 7, 2009

What month is it again?

We have been blessed with amazing autumn weather (the boys are wearing shorts today...on November 7th!!!)and we have been enjoyed lots of outside play time as a result. For a mom taking a photography class, this means lots of opportunities practicing with my camera! Here are some fun shots I took of the boys outside earlier this week.

Yesterday we took a field trip to the city zoo. We toured almost the entire zoo, which took us over five hours. It was such a beautiful day, and we really enjoyed the outside time with all our friends.

Andrew was quite a trooper for the long day, but eventually he gave in and took a nice long nap in the stroller.

We're trying to enjoy this awesome weather as much as we can, because we know that it won't last forever!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Why I Abominate the Prosperity Gospel - John Piper

I was flipping through the channels tonight and was saddened to see the false teachers like Benny Hinn on TBN asking for more money. John Piper explains why he is sickened by their false teaching as well.

Jude on false teachers

Jude 1:12-13 These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

Our big decision

I mentioned in the last post that we are looking towards our next adoption. We have actually been thinking and praying about our next adoption ever since we brought Andrew home, but had never planned on starting anything until after he was a year old. Well, his birthday is now in about six weeks(!!!) so we are getting very excited about possibly starting another adoption soon!

Our big decision is how to adopt this time around. The Minority Infant Adoption Program (that we adopted Andrew through) has six families on its waiting list right now; when we signed up we were one of two families. We don't feel like the need there is as great as it was (Praise God that more families are becoming open to transracial adoption!) so we have decided to look into other options.

One of the programs we are seriously considering is Bethany Christian Services Waiting Child Program. We have already filled out a preliminary application for this program, which doesn't commit us to anything but allows us to view the Waiting Children they have overseas. Children in the Waiting Child program are in because they are harder to place, usually because of a special needs issue. Some of the special needs are mild (cleft lip, crossed eyes, etc.) and some are severe (Down's Syndrome, cerebral palsy, etc.). We have thought that maybe since there is an almost four-year gap between Andrew and Caleb that we could adopt a 2- or 3-year old from this program. This adoption process usually goes very quickly; if we started the process in January we would most likely be able to bring our child home sometime next year!

I found this video yesterday of a family who adopted a Waiting Child from Korea. Their story is amazing and their little girl is precious.

Ludy Adoption Video from Lifesong on Vimeo.

God has also burdened our hearts for the orphans in Uganda, and we are also seriously considering adopting from there. We have been reading about the orphan situation in Uganda here, here and here, and have been deeply moved by what we have read. We know of two agencies that do Ugandan adoptions, and Luke has been e-mailing with a family that recently adopted from Uganda. We have had this country on our hearts, and then yesterday I found this video and was ready to jump on the next plane to Uganda!

Please be praying for us as we make this huge decision over the next few months. It is so hard to decide when the need is so great in so many places. We know God has already chosen the perfect child for our family, and we just need to trust Him (once again) as we wait upon His perfect timing. Andrew has been such a blessing, we can't wait to see what God has in store for us this time!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

What we've been up to....

I have had a hard time keeping up with this blog lately, as you have probably noticed from the lack of postings. The beginning of the school year has proven to be very busy, and I am having a hard time squeezing in time at the computer. One of my projects this week was to get our pictures all downloaded and resized, so while Isaac is taking his mid-morning break I thought I might post some on our blog and catch everyone up with what has been going on in our family.

Last weekend was one of Isaac and Caleb's favorite weekends of the year. It was the weekend of the annual Winslow Birthday Bash. Our friends, the Winslow's, have eight children. Rather than have eight birthday parties throughout the year, they have one huge birthday party in the fall. The word huge is not an exaggeration. They invite friends and family to camp out on their land Friday night. Then on Saturday they serve breakfast and lunch. There was probably about 30-50 people there for 24 hours. The kids love it! Here's some fun pics I snapped on Saturday:

Andrew really enjoyed the bounce house.

So did Caleb and his friend Luke.

Shawn, the Winslow Dad, had told us all that he had built the kids a clubhouse. None of us were prepared to see this:

( This picture does not do it justice. This thing is massive! Do you see the man bent over in front of the clubhouse? He is about 6 1/2 feet tall. That gives you an idea of how huge the clubhouse is! )

Isaac stopped playing for a brief minute so I could take this picture of him by their house.

In other news, Isaac is playing soccer this fall which he really enjoys. Here he is in action:

Caleb wishes he could play soccer (or any sport, really) but he can't play until next year when he's five. So the poor guy has to just sit and watch.

After many months of unsuccessfully trying to keep Murphy contained in our yard with an Invisible Fence, we finally decided Murphy needed to find another home. Luke's brother, Matt, has wanted Murphy ever since we got him so he jumped at the chance to take him. It made it a little easier on the boys to give him to Uncle Matt since they knew they would still get to see him. Some tears were still shed, though. Here they are saying good-bye:

We went on camping trip with ten other families from our church a few weeks ago. We had a great time, and Andrew enjoyed his first camping trip. Here he is after enjoying a graham cracker by the campfire:

A week ago we went on a fun field trip with one of our homeschool groups. We went to Beanstalk Community Gardens. The kids learned all about fruit, vegetable and herb plants and got to pick and taste many different types. They also got a basil seedling to plant and bring home. Here's some pics from that trip:

Tomorrow we are heading to St. Louis and then Thursday we will be on to Louisville to visit my brother and his family. While in St. Louis we will be having another meeting with Andrew's birthmother and talking with Bethany (our adoption agency) about our next adoption! Not sure what road God will lead us down for our next adoption, but we are excited to get started on another one. We'll keep everyone posted!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Choose FedEx

When we had our eBay business I used to ship FedEx almost exclusively over UPS when I had packages over 2lbs. They had great rates, timeliness, and awesome customer service. They called about once a month to see how our business was doing. It didn't surprise me then to read this article.

If you have a choice between UPS and FedEx...Choose FedEx.

FedEx flies terminally ill girl home

Monday, September 21, 2009

Piano Shopping

We haven't posted many pictures lately because we bought a new camera and have been trying to figure out how to use it. (I am taking a photography class this fall to help me really learn how to use the new camera.) Hopefully I will soon be taking amazing pictures and posting them regularly on our blog!

One of the things we like about our new camera is that it also takes video. Since we were very bad about taking videos of our boys with our old camcorder, this is perfect for us. We take our camera with us often, so now we can capture moments on video that we normally wouldn't have gotten. For example, a couple weeks ago we were at the music store shopping for a piano. This was not an occasion I would normally have dragged our camcorder to, but I did happen to have the new camera in my diaper bag! I was able to capture the boys having a jam session on one of the keyboards:

Can you tell who the show-off is in our family?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Adopting Jesus?

I just read a great blog post by Jason Kovacs of the ABBA Fund. The title of the post is "Adopting Jesus." You can read it here.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Question of the Day

Today Isaac said, "I wonder why they call him George Washington since he was born in Virginia."

I love seeing the world through a child's eyes!

Sunday, August 16, 2009


There has been a whirlwind of activity around our place lately. We start our school year tomorrow and have been trying to cram a lot of fun things into the last two weeks of summer vacation. We have had numerous play dates, picnics, outings to Science City and other get-togethers with family and friends. I am feeling a little worn-out, but am still looking forward to the beginning of a new school year. The boys are excited to start school as well. Last Monday Isaac begged me, "Can we please start today?" Today Luke asked him, "Isaac, what do you think about starting school tomorrow?" Isaac said, "Thrilling!" (I thought that was a pretty funny response for a six-year old.) I hope his enthusiam lasts!

So...before we dig into the new school year, I thought I'd post a few pictures from our last few weeks.

Our friend Robin snapped this picture of Luke and Andrew while we were at the petting zoo a couple weeks ago. It's one of my new favorites.

A common question people ask us is,"How do Isaac and Caleb like Andrew?" I think I'll let the following pictures answer that question.

Andrew turned eight months old on Friday. We finally found the right attachment for our clippers to give him the nice, clean-cut haircut I have been wanting to give him. He looks so handsome!

We worked hard at the Summer Reading Program this year, and the boys both completed five lists. They both were pretty excited about the art sets they got for a prize. Isaac went on to finish a sixth list, which means he read over 120 books this summer! Luke and I are both excited about his love for reading.

A question I often get asked in regards to home-schooling is, "How do you do it all?" My answer is, "I don't." I do a lot, but we are firm believers in children needing to learn how to work and help out around the house. Isaac and Caleb had a few chores last year, and this year we are adding folding and putting away the laundry. Luke has been teaching them how to do this, and I snapped a picture of the "laundry lesson" last week. In the midst of the laundry lesson Isaac said, "Folding laundry is fun!"

We had a really fun "Back-to-School" party on Friday with one of our homeschool groups. I had planned on taking pictures, but when I went to take the first picture my battery was dead. (That tends to happen to me a lot.) One of the moms is supposed to e-mail me the ones she took, but I haven't got those yet. (That's a friendly reminder, Patty. :) When I get those maybe I'll post some.

So now it's officially "Back to School!"