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A Story on Film~

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Today we had the joy of having Nicole Cole from 314 Productions 
filming God's story being written in our family~
She was with us all day and lots of sweet moments shared.
We pray and believe this film will spur hearts toward
many MORE children finding their forever families!!!

Psalm 68:5-6
Father of the fatherless and protector of widows
is God in his holy habitation.
God settles the solitary in a home;
he leads out the prisoners to prosperity,
but the rebellious dwell in a parched land.

Names are Important~

Today our friend Nicole from 314 Productions was here filming our family
and wanting us just going about our daily life (school).
I decided to use a book we've read before~
Such a sweet book and lots of new comments from the kids this time. :)
We talked about God finding them all the way in China and allowing US to be their family.
We got their China books out and told their stories including the specialness of their name~
{Great activity for bitty girls to name letters in everyone's names}
 I wrote their name on art paper and they were to trace over and over with crayon.
Next we watercolored over the crayon filling the page creating beautiful crayon resist art for our wall~
 Nicole was able to film our everyday life as well interview every person in our family~
And yes, it was a warm sunny afternoon so the kids grabbed suits and jumped in!
Now we're enjoying tons and tons of rain. :)
A final farewell to summer and hello to October!!!

Reading with the Boys~

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The boys continue to love reading their Bob books.
 Learning the sight words is often tricky so we are using our magnetic letters
to build and read as quickly as we can~
 They switch trays when finished and work next set~
I think the cool thing is hearing how excited they are when they spot one
in a book or on a sign when we're out and about.
Reading is the most exciting thing a child can learn...
immediately their whole world opens up!!!
Keep up the good work boys!

Ben Curtis Long Weekend~ {Shaycation}

Sunday, September 27, 2015

After our dr appt on Wednesday, we met Josh to pick up BC
so they could be off for all the fun shown in these photos~
 They met Josh's brother Zack and family in London~
 It was our great JOY to have Ben Curtis with us~
 He loves to laugh and enjoys being with all the littles~
 Every single thing he does is cute~
Today was the best with a full kitchen and Savannah/Josh on a flight home.
We are going to miss this angel but I can't wait to see him welcome his mama and dada home.
The sweetest baby in the world and a wonderful Long Weekend loving him!!!

ZTA Parent Weekend~

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Scott and I were thrilled to spend the day with Rosie for ZTA Parent Weekend~
 It was a dreary, drizzly day but that didn't spoil our fun~
{Loved having Michelle (Rosie's big) and Hayden along}
 Loved the game and loved the Redcoat Band more~
SO thankful Rosie loves her school and her sorority.
Even more thankful she came home for the weekend!!!

{BIG Thanks to Amelia, Aunt Susan and Memommy for keeping the littles!}

SJ's Little Band Bracelet Business~

Friday, September 25, 2015

Remember me saying we met with our social worker over the last week or so?
We love her because she has helped us with half of our children's home studies
and now with CallaAnne so it's like welcoming an old friend back again.

In the times we met with Heather she shared things about her sweet family
and one really stuck with SJ.
She told us her kids had really loved selling band bracelets they made to people in their neighborhood
and SJ decided she wanted to do that too.
(To help bring CallaAnne home)

That very afternoon she gathered her supplies and got busy
with two brothers looking on who would become her partners~
I just happen to share this pic on FB and IG and instantly SJ was in business
with really more than she could believe possible.
Her hope was to sit at the top of the driveway and sell to our neighbors
so she made a sign and I set her up~
She made $2 and was quite proud
but was floored when I told her she had orders for more than 50 online.
WHAT?
It would take SJ, EK, and even Mimi to get the orders filled.
(We are still filling them so please don't give up on us. :)

NOW the background story...

In the meantime while SJ has been making bracelets like crazy,
Scott and I have been talking with a sweet friend at 314 Productions about
shooting a film sharing our adoption story in hopes of moving hearts on this journey as well.
The film will be shot on Wednesday of next week
and would you believe SJ has raised the WHOLE fee for the film???
Isn't God amazing?
That a little business she thought was just for fun
actually made a HUGE difference for CallaAnne and hopefully many more sweet ones waiting for their Forever!!!

Adoption Timeline Update~

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

When the decision to pursue an adoption had been made,
 there is a flurry of activity that ensues.

Some Needed and some just plain Crazy.
I admit to both and trying to do it all at the same time. :0

Tons and tons of paperwork Needed to be filled out:
applications, home study documents, and dossier documents
so my desk has looked like this for the last month two weeks~
And over the last 20 days I have finished every single document I needed to complete, gather, notarize, and mail 
plus
trips to the sheriff's dept for criminal checks, medicals at the dr for adults and kids, 
and then to post office~
Those were the Needed things!

Crazy things would be moving ALL the girls to new bedrooms and painting~

Below is Rosie's new room, Bitty girls' where Calla will be also,
and EK/SJ's room~
(Still have to paint the middle room and add bed for bitty girls pink)
At least all the furniture is moved and two room completely done!

We met with our social worker and just waiting for home study to move forward to immigration and fingerprinting.
Thankful for each step closer to sweet CallaAnne~
So very thankful to call her our baby!


Together We Have Hope Everlasting~ {Amazing Opportunity}

Sunday, September 20, 2015

I want to invite everyone in and around Atlanta, Georgia to
Together, a support group for adoptive and foster moms.

Here are the details and hope to see you there in October!!!

TOGETHER

I know you’ve seen it, the miracle that happens when we come TOGETHER for 

the orphaned child.

Prayer warriors come out of the woodwork to lift high before the throne of God 

families growing in faith and their treasured waiting children.

BTDT mommas and papas spend countless hours encouraging, sharing stories of 

hope and answering questions in coffee houses, fellowship halls and Facebook 

groups.

Friends who are more like sisters huddle around kitchen tables and mounds of 

paperwork and MAKE IT HAPPEN.

And then after chasing paper and dreams for months and sometimes years on 

end, it happens. Sons and daughters, once cast aside and called orphans, come 

home to hope and future and family.

Praise God for his relentless mercy and unfailing love!

Months ago Almighty God gave us a vision for another way to come TOGETHER.  

A group of mommas who walk the road, arm-in-arm, as God scoops up their 

families and changes the trajectory of the life of a child in a way that only He can.  

Mommas who worship ‘TOGETHER, study God’s word TOGETHER, laugh and 

cry and share stories and chocolate and coffee TOGETHER.

Join TOGETHER, a support group for adoptive and foster moms

Peachtree City United Methodist Church 

October 6, 2015

6:30-8:30 pm 

255 Robinson Rd

Peachtree City, GA

Not close to Peachtree City?  No problem!  Contact to learn more about how we 

can bring TOGETHER to your community.

Please contact Tamara Robinson, Lauren Kuehn, Kathy Slay or Andrea Sisler 

through Facebook or by email at togetherwehavehope4@gmail.com

Home!~

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Haven't seen this big of a smile since we left for our vacation~
I think Macy is even smiling!!!
 Best friends back together!

Beach Moments~

Thursday, September 17, 2015

We head home in the morning since it's supposed to rain all day
and it will be nice to have a whole weekend PLUS we miss Macy SO much!
Yesterday I awoke to this gorgeous sunrise and no filter was needed.
God is the Great Artist~
 We enjoyed having my sister and Sam down for the day playing in the ocean~
 These four making plans to stay with their Sissy when we go to China :)
 Ending the day with a wonderful dinner @ Lee's Inlet Kitchen~
Love you Sis and Sam... missed Chris and Bec.
A wonderful day!

Today we had a super cloudy day with the threat of storms but we stayed out all day~
 About the time we came in, the bottom fell out and stopped before we go to putt putt~
 This is always the one thing we HAVE to do and it their favorite thing~
 Our goal is not to get the ball in hole as much as keeping it out of the water~
 Evie the expert giving Holly putting lessons. :)~
 We grabbed some dinner and headed back to condo for bed.
We walked in the bathroom to find Evie perched on the counter brushing her teeth~
This girl has skills. :)

A wonderful time away at the beach but you know what we always say...
There is NO place like home!!!
Can't wait to hug our bigs and see our sweet dogs!

A Week Away~ {Beach}

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Other than home there is no other place we would rather be than at the beach~

 It is a bit chilly in the mornings but perfect in the afternoons~

 SJ has gone on little runs with her daddy each day and builds the best mud castles~

 Sand, tide pools, and waves have made our days so wonderful~
Only thing missing are our bigs, BC, and CA.
Thankful for a Week Away!

Story of her Name~ {CallaAnne}

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The day we got a confirming yes we had the file,
and yes her heart had a great repair,
and yes we truly knew she was our daughter,
we sent Letter of Intent (LOI) to China.

That same evening we had Scott's sister over for dinner.
I felt James 1:27 so clearly depicted in our family
with one less orphan and a widow at our table.
I thought it would be a sweet thing to name our baby after her Aunt Susan.

Because you know her name was my next dilemma...
we couldn't keep calling her 'that little girl'. 
We extinquished every single name list online that week
and on Saturday Scott said he kept thinking of a song with beautiful in the title.
I did a Itunes search and came up with Charlie Hall's
On the Road to Beautiful~
We just sat listening and worshiping.
At the end of the song I thought we should find a name that meant Beautiful
and the first list I pulled up gave us the name Calla.
We paired it with Anne (after her aunt) and means He Favors You.

CallaAnne~ Beautiful and Favored.
Chosen and Loved already!!!
Coming home to her forever sometime in 2016!

Not Our Story OR Our Timing~ {Seven Months Later}

Monday, September 14, 2015

God has had us on such a HUGE journey of faith this year
and Matthew West will get your world lined up with ours'~
One Less... Matthew West

"When I get to heaven I have a really hard time believing
God is going to ask 'Why did you give so many orphans a home?'

Have you ever watched Francis Chan’s video on Eternity? Watch Here~

It’s quite amazing when you stop to think of how short our time on earth...
a vapor compared to the eternity we will share with Christ. 
(And the people who choose Jesus as their Savior)

Have you ever had those moments when you really wonder 
WHAT in the world am I supposed to be doing?
Really doing for God???
Bottom line... We are here to love like Jesus and lead others TO Him!
That is the WHY of our homeschooling adventure... Growing Whole Hearts.

Over the past Seven months God would press on my heart that we might have another but every time I brought it up,
Scott would say a definite no. 
I respected him completely and secretly felt relief.
(In my 'humanness' who would want to start all that again?)
We had just gotten settled into a normal life...

Along about April I saw a face that took my breath away
and once again mentioned that we might have another baby waiting for us.
This time he really didn't say anything. That meant no too.

I started to think maybe God just wanted me to advocate instead of adopt
so I barely began to allow myself to share little faces on my FB wall or IG.

That same little face would continue to pop up over the next couple months
and I prayed for her family to find her although I really wanted it to be us.
(I knew without a doubt if she was our little girl I didn't have to make it be.
God already knew and would make the way to her. Faith!)

Around our anniversary I learned she indeed had a family sending LOI
and I was thankful she would have her forever.
(I was sad it wasn't us but believed God knew best.)

THEN one afternoon I was working at my desk in the schoolroom
when I received a message that she was back on the list
and my heart leapt out of my chest.
Her agency name was Rayne and I am not kidding
when I say it began to POUR outside my window...
chills all over me.

I had a choice...
Be silent? Advocate again? Or send to Scott?
I thought he needed to know she was back on the list
so I sent her photo with the little message I had received.
I prayed God would make HIS Will super clear to us.

Scott didn't even acknowledge I had sent the photo.
Days later he told me her face kept popping into his mind
as he ran that next Saturday morning.
He kept trying to block it out and say no.

Sunday we went to NewSpring and our pastor preached an amazing sermon~
Perry Noble's Lifesavers! (click link to watch)

God spoke right to Scott's heart and he fought it all day.
In his words he was broken over what he knew God was asking of him.

Finally about 10pm that Sunday evening
(when he really wanted to go to bed and just forget it all)
 he reached over, took my hand,
and said, "The answer is yes."
(Prayers had been answered and we were scared!)

God had indeed told Scott he had a new daughter.
God had indeed made His will for us super clear.

For a long time that night all we could do was cry and pray.
We had chosen another life to love forever.

We had chosen Not Our Story OR Our Timing...
But God's Story being written through Our Family.

So without further ado,
meet our new daughter~
{Seven months later God would give us our seventh from China}
Love Wins Again!!!

Can I GIVE God just a little more Glory for what He has done???

Seven months from that February 7 day when he gave me the word Seven,
He would give us PA for our little girl
(wait for it)
on Sept 7!!!
February 7-September 7: God's number of Completion

Our timing is rarely God's timing and I have learned if you can figure it all out,
it is definitely NOT God's Story.
(His ways are Mysterious)
Just like the man in Matthew West's video,
we have no idea where the money will come from but God has never left us.
He chose this journey for us and He will make the way.
(Cue the fundraisers)

{Rest of the Story tomorrow}

Psalm 127: 3-5
Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift?
    the fruit of the womb his generous legacy?
Like a warrior’s fistful of arrows
    are the children of a vigorous youth.
Oh, how blessed are you parents,
    with your quivers full of children!
Your enemies don’t stand a chance against you;
    you’ll sweep them right off your doorstep.

SEVEN Months Ago~

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Have you ever had a Never Again moment because you Thought you knew the future or maybe just didn’t take into account this life… {this story}… wasn’t your story. IT IS God’s story. Yeah, us too!

This past June a year ago, two 50 something year old adults arrived home with their ninth child (6th from China) tired, feeling old, and saying WE ARE DONE! After all, we had followed God’s call on our family and welcomed another daughter home.


Wouldn’t it make sense to be satisfied, content, and take care of the ones God had already given us? Go back to our safe life cocooning our new one while finding a new normal. And that’s exactly what we did~

Just for safe keeping of my heart (which I know all too well) I asked to be taken off all waiting child lists and blocked many of the ways I might see another face I could love. Scott says I could love them all and he’s right.

That worked well until I went to an If Gathering in February 6-7 where God began to tear down walls I had built around my heart… A wall keeping me from China and another life to save (I sound terrible, don’t I?). Sharing truth. The walls I thought were protecting our family, my marriage, and what I thought was My Story.

The If Gathering was one of those mountaintop experiences when God spoke straight to my heart about knowing and living for Him alone. 

Key notes I wrote down were:
·      Am I enough? Am I going to stay safe? Live by sight or by Faith? What matters? Souls of People!
·      If God is real, why am I sitting here in the desert? Stop being safe and be crazy dangerous for Him
·      My life is not my own… What am I going to do about it? Run to the least of them and pray over people.
·      Faith rarely comes easily and we should expect it to be hard. Faith doesn’t mean there is no doubt and God won’t always explain Himself.
·      Let God be God (His ways are mysterious). Faith can thrive even when my knowledge is failing.
·      Faith is a process that day by day develops us into disciples… He is able to do and be for me always.
·      Unless we are willing to serve,  we can’t be prepared for God to use me {Embrace my Place}
·      Service is the key to destiny
·      Know the Word, Love the Word, and hang onto the Word of God diminishing fear giving me a spirit of Love

In the end we were challenged to choose a word we felt God was giving us through all we had heard. We each wrote our word on a stone as a testament of His promise.  I completely felt my word was Seven.

Seven?

I had my ideas and let’s just say Scott did not agree. AT ALL!
So I put all MY thoughts and speculations to rest and continued living our new normal.
I trusted Scott's judgement and if he wasn't feeling led
 then I needed to heed his wisdom.

PS. God gave me the word Seven many times over the next weeks 
but I prayed He would tell my husband too…

{More of the story tomorrow}


Joshua 6:15
On the seventh day they rose early, at the dawn of day, and marched around the city in the same manner seven times. It was only on that day that they marched around the city seven times.

Fun Friday with Ben Curtis~

Friday, September 11, 2015

Savannah needed us to spend the day with BC today
and we were SO happy about it~

 We can barely stand...
 How adorable he is...

Fun Friday was Super fun today!!!