Friday, November 27, 2015


Every Thanksgiving, we come up with a couple fun crafts to do with all the kids (usually one that involves food and one that doesn't). This year, we made turkeys out of mason jars, whoppers, chocolate covered pretzels and construction paper. This was a hit for the messy factor and the yummy candy factor :)

The "non-food' craft was very simple and served 2 purposes. We painted clothespins for a fun game of Turkey Tag (each person has 3 clothespins attached somewhere to their clothing and the goal of the game is to be last person with any clothespins left still attached. In case your wondering, yes, this did cause skinned knees, busted lips and hurt feelings but I'm still calling it a win! :) ). We also used these clothespins to hold our place cards that were printed from online and names written in by 3 of the girls.

Morgan and Sydney are becoming quite the musicians and love to play and sing together. So, on a lazy day like today, it's the perfect time to play and sing with cousins :)

And, by the end of the day, everyone was exhausted, so we watched a favorite... FROZEN! Such a fun day with family and relaxing and yummy food!

Sunday, November 1, 2015


My kids on Halloween. Morgan didn't dress up at all but I still made her get in the picture :) Avery is the Snapchat update (I know, she is funny), Sydney is tweedledee with her cousin, Annalise, being Tweedledum, Jordan is just a blue person and Troy is Scooby. We had a lot of fun walking around the neighborhood with friends and family. Troy and Emmie enjoyed riding in the wagon and getting candy handed to them. I think they decided this is their new favorite holiday :)

Here is a close up of Jordan. 

Tweedledee and Tweedledum

Pumpkin Patch

It's that time of year

In case you can't tell, that's actually a smile :) He is trying to say "cheese". Too much cuteness!

 The whole crew that was there

My kiddos. Love em!

My Family of 7

We are officially and legally a family of 7! We are so excited to have this sweet boy a part our family.

We know he had no idea what was going on or that anything is even different. And, we feel so blessed that is the case. One day, he will ask questions and we will have answers. One day, he might have big emotions over the impact of his adoption day. But, right now, the big emotions came from all the big people in his life. We all know the difference this means. We all know the permanency he gained and the biological family he lost. We all get it. He doesn't yet. But, one day, he will.

Right now, he is all smiles and loves being the center of attention. Right now, he feels safe and loved. Right now, he couldn't imagine anything different. We will cherish these moments. We will smile with him. We will laugh at his humor. We will clap at as his accomplishments. We will even giggle at his 2 year old fits. We will enjoy this stage and all the ones to come. 

And, we will remember this day as a day that our family grew 1 person bigger. We will remember this day as the day that we all felt a little more settled and able to breath easier. 

We will remember all the love and support we felt by those that walked alongside of us. We will remember that the road ahead might not be easy but it will always be worth it.

We LOVE you sweet boy and we are so glad you are part of our family!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Adoption - Here and Abroad

Well, we finally have an official adoption date for the newest member of our family. On September 29th at 1:30 p.m., we will legally be a family of 7 :)
We are so excited for the finalization of a very long process. We are also grateful that our little guy won't even skip a beat because of the age he is at. As for right now, he doesn't know anything different than us as his family.
We are also extremely fortunate to not only have extended family members who have walked this road before us but also close friends that have adopted from foster care. We will and have already used these resources in helping us navigate the journey of adoption.

We are also beginning the pursuit of adoption from Haiti. A couple of months ago, my kids and I went on a mission's trip to Haiti and all of our lives were forever changed. It was impactful, empowering, heartbreaking and eye opening. We did so many things on that trip that we will never forget, but one thing that has stayed at the forefront of our conversations since we have been home is a little boy. He is 1 month younger than Troy and he captured the heart of all 5 us immediately.
Since we have returned home, Cory and I have been praying and talking about him and trying to figure out what God was calling us to. Well, we have officially decided to pursue adoption from Haiti. We know the process can be anywhere from 1-3 years and we are jumping in with both feet and not any idea of the world of international adoption. We are excited, nervous, overwhelmed and at peace all at the same time. We know one of the biggest hurdles in international adoption is the cost. So, we will be trying to raise as much of the funds as we can along the way.
We know that the finalization is not guaranteed and there are several hoops we will need to jump through and there will be several times along the way that God can close the door. For now, we just know we are called to be "willing". The rest of the process and the future we leave in God's hands.
We also know that moving forward in this direction is crazy and doesn't make logical sense. But, if there is anything we have learned while walking with the Lord in our marriage, it is that He often (and I mean, often) calls us to do things that sound crazy. So, here we go. Jumping from a new family of 7 to a soon to be family of 8.

This sweet boy melted our hearts.

It didn't take long for me to fall in love with the children of Haiti

Could this be any sweeter?

Who wouldn't want to hold this snuggly guy?

Monday, August 3, 2015

This one's just for me...

It's been a year and a half since I've written on here. So many changes.
I have been thoroughly enjoying my doula business. It has kept me busy and allowed our family a little extra income. It has been a big adjustment for everyone as well. We know that planning vacations is no longer something that can happen spontaneously. In order to actually go out of town, I have to be sure I do not take clients with a due date within 2 weeks before or after my vacation dates.
However, last Summer, we were fortunate enough to plan the biggest vacation our family has ever done. We rented an RV with my parents and brother and drove across the country in 10 days. The main attraction was the Grand Canyon. But, we visited lots of amazing places along the way. We made memories that no one will ever forget.

Also, in March of 2014, we welcomed a new little guy into our home. He came to us at 3 months old and will officially be a member of the family around August of this year. We had no idea when we began our Foster Care journey that the first placement in our home would end up staying with us forever. We knew that this type of situation is rare and we were bracing ourselves for heartache. I have been surprised at the mixed emotions I have had in this process. Although I am overjoyed at the thought of this baby joining our family, I am saddened at his loss. I am saddened that he will officially have no legal relation to his birth parents anymore. I am saddened by all the things that his parents will miss out on. I am excited to see him grow but I know that there will be milestones along the way that I will be starkly reminded that his birth parents should be seeing this too. Adoption is a funny thing. I think it is one of the most redemptive things on this Earth and I think it is a picture of what God does for his children, but it always starts with a loss and brokenness.

As we move forward, we are not exactly sure what we will be doing. We definitely did not anticipate closing our home after only a year and a half but we sure didn't think we would be adopting so quickly. At this point, we don't have a vehicle that will hold any more children. But, we are not sure what God is calling us to. Are we done with Foster Care for now? Should we get a bigger vehicle? Are we open to adoption again in the future? Do we think our family is complete? Lots of questions and we don't know the answer. It is something we are praying about and looking for God's leading.

One more thing to throw into this mix is that I am starting Midwifery School (to become a midwife) in September and it is a 3 year long program. It will be intense and financially tight, but it is something I have wanted to do for years and will be a logical continuation of my doula work. Again, it is something that we are praying about because we know the stress it would put on our family. Going to school with kids at home is never easy and I don't want to be naive about the consequences.

Morgan will be starting to take college classes this Fall as well (dual enrolling in High School). She also will be looking for a job. Avery will be in 10th grade. Sydney in 8th and Jordan just starting middle school in 6th.

What I know for sure is that God knows what He is doing and I can trust His timing and leading. I am praying for his direction to be clear to myself and my husband and for us to be unified.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Foster Care

Our lives are about to get a lot busier. When I write that, my first thought is... "How is that possible?" As our children get older, we are pulled in so many different directions. We already have almost no nights where all six of us are home at the same time. And yet, God has placed children in Foster Care on our family's heart. Almost 2 months ago, we started attending the classes required to become foster parents. We are excited and nervous all at once.

The kids are all very excited and can't wait to have another little person to love on. Cory and I are also excited for this opportunity but we are also very aware of the heartache that we are inviting into our lives. We know the goal of foster care is reunification and that means that we will fall in love with child after child and then they will leave. We also know that no matter how well prepared we think we are, the heartbreak will still be something we are not ready for.  But, I also know that is how most things in life are.

If we had any idea how difficult marriage and child rearing was, I don't know if we would have signed up so easily and readily. If I really understood the pain of child birth, would I have chosen to have my baby somewhere that pain meds were not an option?  But, the cool thing to me about all these hard choices that I might not have made if I knew better is that each of them have also been WAY more rewarding than I ever could have imagined.

I never knew how much I would depend on another human being and how much teamwork it would take to get through the life I have. I never knew how much my husband would teach me about who I am and who God is. I never knew that children would stretch me to the end of myself and bring me to a new level of love I didn't understand before. I never knew how empowering and beautiful child birth could be.

And so I expect it will be with this new journey we are entering. I expect it will be so much more difficult than we can imagine now. I also expect it will bring more joy to our lives than we knew was possible. I expect we will be stretched farther than ever before. I expect that we will learn to love to a new level we've never experienced. I expect we will learn more about who we are and who God is. I expect our lives will never be the same and I expect that there will be moments we wonder why we ever made this decision. But, I also expect there will be moments where we will know without a doubt that God has called us to something so unbelievably incredible that we will feel honored to be a part of it.