Monday, May 23, 2011


Our family is getting ready to undergo some changes.  Not just the kind where you bring a child home from half way around the world.  One major change will be happening next week.  I'm changing jobs.  Well, actually, I got laid off from my current job (due to government grant funding ending) and I will be finishing up my position this week.  Next week I will be starting a new position with the local Crisis Pregnancy Center I have been volunteering at for a few months.  I will be the Client Services Director.  God has really been opening and closing doors for the past three years to get me to this position I believe.  Actually, I believe God has been leading me to this place since I was in my early teens. 

Honestly, at first, I was a little freaked out by the pink slip and what it could possibly mean to our adoption.  Then when I gave it to God, doors started opening and I decided to trust Him above all else.  The position at the pregnancy center isn't full time and is definately not a money maker (but if I were in it for the money, I never would have went into social work!).  This is more of a ministry than a job anyway and I am SO excited. 

Today we found out how much health insurance is going to cost and I freaked out again.  I honestly can't believe how much it costs to insure a family these days!  We have been blessed to both be covered by the state employee health insurance and cross reference our insurance so it has been extremely cheap.  Now, if we keep the current insurance we have it will cost more a month then I will make at my new  So I'm totally open to how other families make health care more affordable!

I also have started my own Tupperware business to help bring in some extra money and Ben is mowing for a few of our neighbors and still officiating soccer and doing handy man type work in his free time. 

So, as I mentioned before, this new position is not full time...meaning more time at home!  Yay!  Which leads us to our next big family change.  Ethan will be 4 one week from today and will be starting preschool in the fall and I have to say, I'm pretty thrilled who his teacher will be...even though this will be her first year teaching.  Her heart is totally in it and I know he already loves her...

Yup!  That's me!  We are beginning the adventure of homeschooling in the fall!  Well, technically, we've been homeschooling (teaching with everyday experiences) since he was born.  If your child knows their ABC's, you've been doing it too!  We are excited and nervous at times too, but more excited.  I have many friends who homeschool, but don't know many locally...but just found out one of our neighbors is planning on homeschooling their 5 year old too!  Yay!  Ethan is such a little sponge right now.  He already knows so many things and is SO good at his memory verses (he is up to 14 verses now!).  We have been doing "lessons" for a year, but I am looking forward to being able to start a more structured routine. 

So here we go!  Job changes, income changes, adoption,'s that for a few changes? 

By the way...

I talked to our social worker and our placement agency and our file is going to Korea today or tomorrow morning!!! YAY!!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Gifts of (and for) Hope

A very sweet blogging friend and fellow loss mom, Lori, sent me a very sweet card a few weeks ago and with it a gift.  Without sharing all of her story, Lori and her husband were pursuing adoption and the country they were adopting from closed, leaving them feeling the loss of a child they never knew.  They were trying to adopt a baby girl and had bought her gifts and were preparing their home for their addition.  After the adoption fell through, they went on to have a beautiful little boy that went to Heaven and now have a bouncing baby boy who is just SO precious!

Anyway, Lori sent me this precious little card and a gift they had bought with much hope for the little girl they were trying to adopt and wanted to pass it along to our Hope.  A little girl who will be brought into our family with much Hope and love!

Thank you Lori, you are such an inspiration!

Rows for Remembrance

A couple of weeks ago, I got these two beautiful gifts from Rows for Remembrance.  Shaina has such a great ministry with these lovely blankets.  Here are my treasures...

Shyla's Blanket

Jakin's Blanket

I just love these blankets.  I cuddled them for the longest time the day I recieved them.  Aren't they just beautiful?  If you haven't requested one from Shaina yet, head on over and see more of her lovely work!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Wild Olive Tees Fundraiser

UPDATE: Wild Olive Tees has extended our fundraising period until June 30th!!!  So if you haven't ordered yet, there is still time!


I try not to post a lot on this blog about the adoption fundraisers that we have going on, but I just had to share this one.  Because I LOVE these tees!!!  Until Saturday, May 14th, you can purchase the tees you find HERE and use code WELLS0417 in the coupon code box and a portion of the proceeds will go to our adoption fund.  Please take a minute to browse their site, but until you have the chance, I thought I would leave you with some of my favorite designs!  (Also, if you want to keep up with our adoption progress and news you can go to our adoption blog, Bring Hope Home).



This Is LoveThis Is Love

By GraceBy Grace

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

I love you (informal) = saranghaeyo 사랑해요

Mom = oem-ma 엄마 أمي

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Arise, Women

Although I do want to celebrate Motherhood, my emotions are starting to get the best of me as the day draws near.  I miss my babies.  I want them in my arms everyday, but for some reason, Mother's Day is especially hard.  It's so comercial for the most part, so I have been researching the origins of Mother's Day and while knowing where it started doesn't ease the aching in my arms, it does let me know that these arms are not the only ones that have ever ached and that I will survive.

Here's to you, Mothers. 

All of you.


The first North American Mother’s Day was conceptualized with Julia Ward Howe’s Mother’s Day Proclamation in 1870. Despite having penned The Battle Hymn of the Republic 12 years earlier, Howe had become so distraught by the death and carnage of the Civil War that she called on Mother’s to come together and protest what she saw as the futility of their Sons killing the Sons of other Mothers. With the following, she called for an international Mother's Day celebrating peace and motherhood:

Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise all women who have hearts,
Whether your baptism be that of water or of tears
Say firmly:

"We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies,

Our husbands shall not come to us reeking of carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of
charity, mercy and patience.

"We women of one country
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."

From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says, "Disarm, Disarm!"
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice!
Blood does not wipe out dishonor
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have of ten forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war.

Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace,
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God.
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality
May be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient
And at the earliest period consistent with its objects
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions.
The great and general interests of peace.


At one point Howe even proposed converting July 4th into Mother’s Day, in order to dedicate the nation’s anniversary to peace. Eventually, however, June 2nd was designated for the celebration. In 1873 women’s groups in 18 North American cities observed this new Mother’s holiday. Howe initially funded many of these celebrations, but most of them died out once she stopped footing the bill. The city of Boston, however, would continue celebrating Howe’s holiday for 10 more years.

Despite the decided failure of her holiday, Howe had nevertheless planted the seed that would blossom into what we know as Mother’s Day today. A West Virginia women’s group led by Anna Reeves Jarvis began to celebrate an adaptation of Howe’s holiday. In order to re-unite families and neighbors that had been divided between the Union and Confederate sides of the Civil War, the group held a Mother’s Friendship Day.

Anna M. Jarvis's Mother's Day in 1908


After Anna Reeves Jarvis died, her daughter Anna M. Jarvis campaigned for the creation of an official Mother’s Day in remembrance of her mother and in honor of peace. In 1908, Anna petitioned the superintendent of the church where her Mother had spent over 20 years teaching Sunday School. Her request was honored, and on May 10, 1908, the first official Mother's Day celebration took place at Andrew's Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia and a church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The West Virginia event drew a congregation of 407 and Anna Jarvis arranged for white carnations—her Mother’s favorite flower—to adorn the patrons. Two carnations were given to every Mother in attendance. Today, white carnations are used to honor deceased Mothers, while pink or red carnations pay tribute to Mothers who are still alive. Andrew's Methodist Church exists to this day, and was incorporated into the International Mother’s Day Shrine in 1962.
US Government Adoption

In 1908 a U.S. Senator from Nebraska, Elmer Burkett, proposed making Mother's Day a national holiday at the request of the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA). The proposal was defeated, but by 1909 forty-six states were holding Mother's Day services as well as parts of Canada and Mexico.

Anna Jarvis quit working and devoted herself full time to the creation of Mother's Day, endlessly petitioning state governments, business leaders, women groups, churches and other institutions and organizations. She finally convinced the World's Sunday School Association to back her, a key influence over state legislators and congress. In 1912 West Virginia became the first state to officially recognize Mother's Day, and in 1914 Woodrow Wilson signed it into national observance, declaring the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day.

The Fight Over Commercialization

The holiday flourished in the United States and flowers, especially white carnations, became very popular. One business journal, Florists Review, went so far as to print, “This was a holiday that could be exploited.” But the budding commercialization of Mother's Day greatly disturbed Jarvis, so she vociferously opposed what she perceived as a misuse of the holiday. In 1923 she sued to stop a Mother’s Day event, and in the 1930's she was arrested for disturbing the peace at the American War Mothers group. She was protesting their sale of flowers. In the 1930’s Jarvis also petitioned against the postage stamp featuring her Mother, a vase of white carnations and the word “Mother’s Day.” Jarvis was able to have the words “Mother’s Day” removed. The flowers remained. In 1938, Time Magazine ran an article about Jarvis's fight to copyright Mother's Day, but by then it was already too late to change the commercial trend.

In opposition to the flower industry’s exploitation of the holiday, Jarvis wrote, “What will you do to route charlatans, bandits, pirates, racketeers, kidnappers and other termites that would undermine with their greed one of the finest, noblest and truest movements and celebrations?” Despite her efforts, flower sales on Mother's Day continued to grow. Florist's Review wrote, “Miss Jarvis was completely squelched.”

Anna Jarvis died in 1948, blind, poor and childless. Jarvis would never know that it was, ironically, The Florist's Exchange that had anonymously paid for her care.


Friday, May 6, 2011

Five Minute Friday

Motherhood should come with...

Five Minute Friday. Where we throw caution (editing, revising, and worrying) to the winds and just write. Without wondering if it’s just right or not.  For five minutes flat. The rules are easy.

1. Write your heart out for five minutes and show us what you’ve got.
2. Tell your readers you’re linking up here and invite them to play along.
3. And most importantly, go visit, read, and encourage the fellow five-minuter who linked up right before you.
{Pretty please turn off word verification for the day to make this easier!}

Today's topic...Motherhood should come with a...


Motherhood should come with warning labels.  Enter at your own risk.

Warning: You will feel love like you have never felt before. Pain you can't imagine.  And your heart will no longer be your own but partially be with the child you carried.  On heaven or earth.

Warning:  You will get unsolicited advice on how to care for, grieve, or raise your child.  Take it all for what it is and turn to the Lord for direction.

Warning:  As much as you say you are ready and as confident as you are, you will doubt, fear and worry that you aren't doing the right thing.

Warning:  God will use your child to turn your heart to Him more than ever.  Be prepared. 

Warning:  You will find out that you are braver than you think, stronger than you think and wiser than you think...

Warning:  You will fall more in love with your husband than ever before.

Yes, motherhood should come with many warnings, but I think they are totally worth it.  God gave me my children.  All of them.  The one I have in my arms, the two I have in my heart and the one I will hold someday born from another mother.

Ok, now it is your turn.  Go over to Gypsy Mama, write 5 minutes regarding this prompt and link back up at her site!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Women of Faith - Eyes that Know (Meeting Angie)

On Saturday, Kelly had been emailing Angie back and forth and they decided the best way to get to meet her would be at the book signing at the end of the day.  We left the last session a little early so we could go to the section where she would be.  We stood in line and talked while waiting and then the line started to move. 

As soon as it was Kelly's turn, she said, "I'm Kelly from Sufficient Grace Ministries..." and Angie let out a huge squeal and gave her a hug.  Then one-by-one we took turns stepping up and hugging Angie.  Each of us told her a little of our story and she looked at us with eyes of a mother who is not feeling sorry for us, but eyes of compassion.  Eyes of a mother who knows.

Angie and I hugging.

Angie meeting Holly and Lainey. 

Angie said, "I never get to see my blog reader's boobs!"

Listening to our stories and seeing the compassion in her eyes.

I wasn't going to share this one...Angie says she looks like a deranged gopher when she cries...apparently I look like one when I laugh...BUT I just had to share this moment.  She is so funny!

Talking with Angie.

Angie signing my copy of "I Will Carry You".

Group Photo!
 Security was urging us to hurry on or we would have stayed there all day talking and sharing with her.  They kept reminding her she had a plane to catch and we knew that too.  She was talking with us and said, "Next time, we will meet at the hotel for coffee in our PJs!"

It was a great experience, but sadly, it signaled the end of our weekend as well. We grabbed some more group photos, said a prayer and parted ways.

This awesome group of ladies represents so much hurt but so much HEALING.
Miscarraige, stillbirth, fatal dianosis, rainbows, death of older children, organ donation, strained marraiges.
Healing hearts, grace, grace and more grace.  Hope.  Joy.  Peace.

And how thankful am I for eyes that know and voices that speak.

I love you ladies.  I know I did not get to spend much time with many of you in this photo, but you have touched me.  Thank you for accepting me as part of your group and as a sister.

After we left the arena, Erin, Holly, Amber, Lainey and I decided we should get dinner before heading back to our homes.  We stopped at Ol.ive Garden and had a great dinner (and dessert) and talked the evening away.  It was dark by the time we left the restaurant and Erin offerred to open her home to me another night so I did not have to drive 5 hours home that late.  We got back to Erin;s house and we all sat in Holly's van for a long time before we decided we should go in.  Holly and Amber decided they should spend another night too.  We stayed up way too late talking and the next morning I headed home.

It was a beautiful weekend and I am so thankful I went and so thankful for seeing more eyes that know.

Children's Day!

May 5th is celebrated as Children's Day in South Korea.  The day the country celebrates their youth and recognizes them as the future of their country.  Children are given gifts and families plan special outings. 

My mind is already turning on how we can celebrate this day within our own family!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Women of Faith - Telling our Story

We started off Saturday with a great surprise!  A very special guest was there.  Laura Story then took the stage and sang the beautiful song, Blessings.  It was such a beautiful song and I had a dear friend on my heart when she sang it.  Here is the live performance...

Kelly had been emailing Angie and we were trying to work out a time to meet face to face, but she was so busy with the Women of Faith schedule.  Angie said she was nervous, so we took a moment to pray for her while we were on a break. 

Then she took the stage.

As I expected, Angie told her story with so much grace and love.  She told the story of her family and her precious Audrey Caroline.  She told her story.  She told our story.  A story of a mama with a broken heart and empty arms.  A story of God's grace and the offer to walk on the water with Him.  A story of faith and a story of failing.  She gave a voice to the grieving mama's in the room and for that I am grateful. 

We all felt the words she were saying as if we were saying them ourselves. 

She says that she cries like a "deranged gopher"  but the only tears I saw were beautiful ones.  Beautiful tears.  Eleven thousand women heard her story, our story, and wept.  We all cried together.  For Angie, for Audrey, for Kelly, Holly and Erin. For you and me. 

And it was beautiful!


We then had lunch and tried to get some photos together...we'll maybe just photos with Lainey!

After lunch there was an amazing concert from this beautiful lady...

I had heard Natalie Grant on the radio, but seeing her live was a totally awesome. She has a very powerful voice and her songs are just beautiful!  She sang a beautiful acustic version of her song, Held.  We used Held at the October 15th service we organized last year.  After her concert was over, she was applauded back onto the stage and sang "It is Well" acapella. 

Hearing 11,000 women echo after her...

It is well
It is well
With my soul
With my soul
It is well, It is well
With my soul


I'm getting chills again just thinking about it!


(Again, I have rambled on and it has gotten late!  I will have to post about meeting Angie Smith tomorrow!)

Women of Faith - Monkeys, Mayhem and Mary Mary

Holly and her sweet cousin Amber met us at Erin's house on Friday morning and we drove into the city for the conference.  It was quite a bit chillier than I had thought it would be...but it wasn't raining!  Yay!

After a short moment of fear over some tickets, we got into the arena and found out it was general admission for the daytime session.  We found some seats (well, actually, we found the bathrooms first!) and got settled in to be blessed.

We heard from two speakers that morning.  Sheila Walsh and Dr. Henry Cloud.

If you have never heard Sheila Walsh speak before, she is awesome.  The mix of her Scottish accent, sense of humor and love for the Lord makes makes time fly by and not to mention the singing voice!  Wow!

Then Dr. Cloud had his turn to speak.  The fact that he was the only male speaker at this event should say something about how good he is.  We actually own one of his books (Boundaries) and I was looking forward to hearing him speak. 

He is a psychologist and he related research with God's word and made them work together.  Many in the psychiatric field believe that you can either believe the Bible OR you can believe the research.  Dr. Cloud pointed out how they can work together.  He gave us a visual demonstration of the four "corners" we put ourselves in life.  Isolation, bad habits that feel bad (abusive relationships), bad habits that are better than the others and may feel good (eating a pint of ice cream) and then the fourth corner was the cross.  He did an excellent job talking about the internal dialogue we can have with oursleves (I would know nothing about that...) 

What I found most interesting though, was he talked about studies that were conducted on monkeys in regards to their stress hormones.  A monkey would be put in a cage and scary sights, sounds and lights would scare the monkey and a measure of stress hormones were taken.  They then changed the environment for the monkey by just placing a monkey that monkey #1 was familiar with into the cage with it.  The scary situation remained, but because there were two of them together, the stress hormones decreased by 50%.  See, we really do need each other.  For the rest of the weekend, we were each others monkey's.  And you haven't realized it by now, you need a monkey too.  Some one to go through life with (not with a fake smile, but in the real hard, scary times as well).  Some one you can look in the eye and know she is feeling the same things as you, but it will be ok because you are not alone.  I pray you all have "monkeys" in your life :-)

We took a lunch break and spent some time talking.  Then it was time for the afternoon session. 

We heard a little more from Sheila Walsh and they had a Q&A time with her and Dr. Cloud.  Again, I laughed so hard during this time, but they also answered some good questions.

Then Mrs. Angie Smith talked with us for just a little while.  We could all tell she was a little nervous, but she did great. 

We heard another speaker or two and were dismissed to go out and get some food before the evening session started back up.  Most of the group went to the Cheesecake Factory...YUM!  I had never even heard of fried maccaroni before, but it was delicious!

Kelly was a little surprised at the size of her lettuce wraps!  They were huge!

And Erin said the salad she had was good too!

Getting supper took a little longer than expected, so we had to head back to the arena, but don't worry, we didn't forget dessert!

That picture also reminds me...on the way back we were discussing the whole GPS thing.  On one hand I am so thankful for this technology on the other...I'm hoping it doesn't get me lost...or worse!  On the way up, I was in a tunnel just over the bridge going into Cinncinati and my GPS told me to "Turn left now".  Of course I didn't. So then, "Re-routing".  It kind of reminded us of that All.state comcercial with "Mayhem".  You know the one I'm talking about...


We made it back to the arena and found our way to the seats on our tickets.  Section 213.  I must admit, at first the height of the section made me a little uncomfortable.  It was high.  And I was on row A, which meant on the edge.  I did get used to it after a few minutes, but I did want to borrow this picture from Kelly, you can kind of see the edge right infront of Holly and I.

And here is Holly and sweet Lainey.  Let me just say, Lainey was such a jewel the whole conference.  She was passed around and we all held her and played with her and she was just so happy and laid back.  I did hear her cry one time the whole weekend, but really didn't even know it was a cry!  She is one precious girl!

What were we dancing to?  Friday night wrapped up with a Mary Mary concert. 

Kelly had offerred me a space at the hotel with the girls from her church, but the hotel had some overbooking issues and I was really concerned about driving alone in downtown Columbus after the whole "re-routing" incident in Cincy.  So Erin invited me back to her house and I went there with her, Holly and Amber.  I wish I had gotten to spend more time with Kelly and her group, but I am glad I made that decision. 

Leaving the arena, Erin and I had a little encounter with "Mayhem".  The GPS and her directions were conflicting a little, there was roadwork, I hate driving after dark anyway and we were downtown on a busy Friday night.  We took a couple of wrong turns, but finally ended up being where we needed to be.  I sighed a big sigh of relief knowing I would not have to do this alone the next night because I was going back to Erin's and going to leave my car there.

We got to Erin's, played with the puppies and her husband got to meet Lainey, but we didn't stay up too late.  We were all tired and so we went to bed anxious for the next day!

(This post has become ridiculously long, so a separate post for Saturday it is!)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Women of Faith - I made it!

So after fighting all those thoughts I did it!  Before this weekend, the furthest I have ever driven alone would probably be 2 to 2 1/2 hours.  But this weekend, I drove the 5 plus hours to Columbus! 

BUT- If I never hear the word "re-routing" again it will be too soon!

The weather stayed clear (with the exception of when I was driving through Cincinnati) and then I had the view of this partial rainbow for over a hour!

Erin called me when I was about a hour away and it really started to sink in.  I made it to her house at around 8:30 (I think) and we hugged and talked.  Her and her husband (and their lovely doggies) made me feel so welcome!  We talked about our babies and our lives.  I must say, it was quite a relief to talk in person to some one who "gets it".  I didn't have to wonder if she was judging me and my grief.  She is where I am.  We were there together.  I found myself in those moments of relief once again that I had when I first discovered the blog world and the loss moms who made it a home away from home.

It never ceases to amaze me how God brings people into our lives. 

And I truely feel He brought all of us together to carry each other's burdens.

He knew we could not walk this road alone.

(I'll post about the first day of the conference tomorrow!)

Monday, May 2, 2011


We have gotten notification that our I600A is in process and we are now just waiting for them to notify us of our biometrics appointment!  Things are moving along! 


It sometimes just amazes me that this is where we are and in a matter of around 12 months we will be traveling half way around the world to bring home our daughter. 

Just in case I haven't made myself clear...the miracle of adoption is an undeniable gift.