Wednesday, August 31, 2011

August 31

August 31, 2009, was the night we found out Shyla had passed away.  Our hearts were broken.

August 31, 2010, we organized and hosted a Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness and Education training for medical professionals, social workers, clergy and any one else who might be the "first responders to miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal loss.  The event was held in the basement level of the hospital.

It was also our first scheduled pre-natal appointment for Jakin.  The appointment where they could not find a heartbeat and they told us to prepare for a miscarriage.

August 31, 2011, I have sat in that same hospital we learned of Shyla's death (one floor down) with my dad.  His biopsy yesterday showed that he does have a large cell carcinoma in his upper right lung.  We are still waiting to see what his treatment options are.  He will probably still be in the hospital for a couple days. 

I really hope I can stay away from the hospital on August 31 next year...this is really getting old. 

Shyla's 2nd birthday is Friday and I have no idea what we will do.  My brother and his family are traveling in from Oklahoma and dad might still be in the hostpital, so I just don't know what to plan. 

It has been a very tiring, emotional week, but God has carried us through and will continue to carry us.  He is bigger and he is stronger. 

Please keep my dad in prayer...

Monday, August 29, 2011

Seven Families

Recently, I have had some issues with health insurance.  Denied because we are adopting.  Denied because of my "heart condition" which they assumed I have after seeing I had taken a medication for Jakin's heart after his diagnosis and before his death.  Adding to my husband's insurance was WAY too expensive, so I began searching for alternatives.  Then I came across Samaritan's Ministries.

Samaritan's is basically a Christian MedShare.  Instead of sending a jaw-dropping amount of money to an insurance agency, I send a set amount of money every month to another Christian in need of financial assistance with their bills.  Samaritan's is based on the principles set in Galatians 6:2 "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.".  But, not only do I send my monthly share, I send a note of encouragement and agree to pray for the person whom I will send my share to.  When I have a medical need, I send in a request packet and Samaritan's sends my need to another person in the share who does the same for me.

I did a lot of research and we prayed about what to do about my health care.  We chose Samaritan's and I sent in my paperwork and we just got my first monthly newsletter.  As I browsed the newsletter, I was impressed.  The article on The Morning Center, a maternity care center they are trying to get off the ground, touched my heart as I see women everyday at the crisis pregnancy center I work at that would benefit from such a program.  Then I saw two pages in the newsletter titled, "New Rewards".  It didn't take long for me to realize these are babies born to Samaritan's members.  I scanned the two pages and prayed for these babies and their families. I also looked to see if any of them had any mention of being stillborn.  I wondered how Samaritan's handled that.  There are currently 17,000 families that are members of Samaritan's...statistically, there would be babies that had been (sadly) lost before birth.

I turned the page and found specific ways I can be praying for the persecuted church.  Again, I didn't expect to see that there, but it broke my heart to read of the persecution going on around the world.

As I scanned the next page, I saw the title "Final Rewards".  It listed two members that had passed away and gave a few paragraphs about each person and included their family and address where encouraging notes and financial assistance could be sent if someone would be so led.  Then, in the second column I saw the following paragraph:

The families listed below have experienced a miscarriage or stillbirth.  We list them here to honor the lives God gave and saw fit to take home.  We also list them so that continued prayer and encouragement can be provided during this time.

Then there were seven families listed.  Seven precious couples whose lives have changed in a way they probably never expected.  Listed also there was their addresses.

Would you please join me in prayer for these seven families.  God knows their names and their needs.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

While We Wait: Praying

We pray for lots of things, don't we.  This week, I would like for you to share any prayer requests that are on your heart, things you need prayer for or any answered prayers. Please link up your prayer request below so that others can pray for you as well.

 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:6-7 


Prayer is a powerful thing, but I have to remind myself that sometimes my requests match what I want more than God's will for us.  I have had prayers at times that have felt unanswered, but when I think about it, they were answered, but maybe not in the way I expected.  When our third child was diagnosed with a heart condition, we prayed for God's healing.  I remember praying over and over the plea that Lazarus' sisters sent in a letter to Jesus, "Lord, the one you love is sick."  Jakin was healed, but just not the way we expected.  I have learned a lot about prayer in the past few years, but I know I still have lots to learn.  

Today I'm asking first for prayers for another adoptive mama and papa heading to Korea right now!!!  Please   pray for the Blomgren's.  Pray their trip goes smoothly and for the daughter at home and their daughter in Korea.  Pray for her new little one's foster parents and for her birth parents.  I have been so blessed by following their journey!

I also ask that you pray for a friend of mine as her sis-in-law went into labor at 31 weeks and will be delivering her baby today.  Pray for health and strength for her little one and for the parents to have wisdom and strength as they are learning to care for a preemie.

Pray for Africa.  To learn more about how you can help with the crisis in Africa, visit Lauren.

I could go on forever with people we need to pray for, but I'm going to wrap up this post with a personal request.  

My dad found out last Thursday that he has lung cancer.  The Dr.'s have told him that radiation and chemo are not possibilities at this time, but they did refer him to a surgeon.  I will be going with him today to see the specialist and see if surgery is possible.  There have been multiple mistakes made by a certain hospital that has  missed this diagnosis for months.  He was told he did not have cancer, but just a lung infection.  He instructed to take heavy antibiotics, which have caused him to completely loose his appetite and drop to a very low weight, which, from my understanding, is why they will not consider most treatments.  I'm struggling with being very angry with this facility.  I need grace.  My dad needs healing.  He is in a lot of pain...

My Dad and I on my wedding day.

Thank you for your prayers and please share yours by linking up or commenting how I can be praying for you.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

While We Wait: Crafting

I can't believe it's Wednesday again already and time to link up with other families who are waiting!

This week's topic...CRAFTING!

I know lots of moms that are using their crafty abilities to help raise funds for their adoption, so let's see it!  What are some of the things you've been crafting while you wait?  Be sure to link up below and invite others to do the same.  It also would be kind to leave a lovely comment for the person who linked up before you.


Before I show something I've been crafting lately, I just have to say...if you've not signed up for Pinterest really should!  You can see my pins HERE. 

Now that I've done that, I can move on to sharing about one of my recent crafts for our home.  

When I saw this idea on Pinterest (see why I mentioned it before?)  I knew I had to do it to keep my make-up off our bathroom counter.  The best part is that we already had almost all the supplies!  

First, I found an empty frame and measured it.  I asked the wonderful hubby to cut a piece metal to fit it.  He found some and I then covered it with some scrap fabric I had purchased from the remnants basket at Jo.Ann's a while back.

We fit the fabric covered piece of metal into the frame and then I attached sticky backed magnets to my make up and found a locker organizer in the school section for a buck and sprayed it blue to match the frame (which I know looks purple in this pic for some reason).  

Now I can find what I'm looking for and hubby is happy my make-up bag is off the counter!  

What have you been crafting lately?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

First Day of Pre-K!

We started homeschooling yesterday!!!  We had a great day and I just wanted to share some of the first day festivities (including 1st day photos!).

Ethan woke up to find his "classroom" looking like this:

Each balloon had a little piece of paper with an assignment written on it.  

And he got to pop the balloons to find out what we did next.  It didn't take him long to find out how to just snip the end and then watch the balloon fly around the room like crazy.  

First day of Pre-K!

He decided he wanted to write the names of all his family members and did MOM, DAD, HOPE and Ethan without any help.  He wanted to write Shyla and Jakin too, but needed a little help spelling their names.  Isn't he just the sweetest child?

I am so grateful for camera timers to capture sweet moments like prayer on our first day of school!

Writing letters with his dry erase crayons.  He'd been at his desk for a little while, so we mixed it up and had tummy time :-)

For lunch I thought I would join in with Muffin Tin Mom and Muffin Tin Mondays.  For our first day of school muffin tin, he had ABC's and 123 pasta, grilled cheese cut into A,B,C, cucumbers from the garden, grapes, cheese crackers and his favorite dessert (peanut butter brownie mini's).  He ate it great and I'm sold on this muffin tin meals!

I also got a couple of shots I hope to repeat for many "first days" to come!

My favorite...

We had a great day and I am looking forward to a great year of Pre-K!!!

***This post is linked up here:

Muffin Tin Monday at

Bringing all kinds of Hope home...

This blog is going to be undergoing some changes over the next little bit.  Not only will it document our adoption journey, but it will be our family blog and chronicling our new adventures in homeschooling.

I thought about starting another blog...but I just don't have it in me!

And I figured...there is more than one way to bring HOPE home.  "Hope" not as a person, but as what God gives us.  The new header kind of sums it up.  We are wanting to bring Hope home from Korea.  We want to bring HOPE into our home through the word of God and we are bringing hope back to our home by homeschooling our son and me being home more than not now. might start getting homeschool posts in your reader, along with just regular family posts and (of course) posts about the adoption.  So, I hope you hang around as we go through these changes!

Much hope...


Monday, August 15, 2011


EP's are being issued again in Korea!  I know of at least one family who has gotten their EP and two other's who have seen progress in their files being sent to Korea!
We are still waiting to hear what this means for us.  I've tried to contact our agency, but the person I need to speak to is on a vacation day and I have to wait until tomorrow to talk to her.  Until then...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

While We Wait: Summertime Fun

While We Wait Wednesday!!!

A day to just talk about life in the waiting.  

Today, a fun topic:

Summertime Fun! 

Write a post filled with what you have been doing this summer and link it up below.  Don't forget to copy the code below the linky and add it to your post.  It would also be super nice if you would visit the blogger who linked up before you and leave them a lovely comment. :-)


This will be mostly a photo post from me.

We started summer 2010 with a trip to Jackson, TN and visited the Casey Jones and train museum...from the outside...we were late and they were locking up :(

But we did get to eat at the Country Store!

We stopped at the Pearl Museum and Farm on the way home and learned a little about pearls.

And saw this entire globe made out of pearl!

Little man had a birthday and begged to do a little of this:


And we had a little birthday party.

At which he got what he wanted for his birthday...

We went to a picnic held by our homestudy agency for all their clients.

I tried many new recipes.  Including turning sweetened condensed milk to toffee and pouring it over bananas and topping with home made whipped cream.  

Did some fishing at the local kids fishing derby.

We went to Louisville to get fingerprinted for our I-600A and drove across the "Big Bridge" for Ethan and found the Falls of the Ohio River State Park on our GPS and decided to take a look.  We will eventually come back here, it was really neat and there are fossil beds that can be explored!

We stopped at the Indiana Welcome Center to see if there was a place to picnic anywhere close and found out that the 3rd largest Bass Pro was just down the of course, we made a little visit there too.

Remember that picture about fishing in the kids fishing derby?  Well, Ethan's cousin won a free day on a pontoon and asked if we would join them.  We had a lot of fun...

So much fun that he actually still took a nap on the middle of the lake on the pontoon because he was SO tired.

My mom got him a new pet...

Got a flower on the 4th of July from this handsome guy...

Kayaking as a family.

Baking oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookies.  Even better (which I don't have a photo of) is the layer of brownies over a layer of oreo over a layer of chocolate chip cookie dough, baking it for 45 minutes and topping it with vanilla ice cream while it's still warm...

Took Ethan to the summer reading program at our public library and got to see this cute little guy.

Tried zucchini pizza for the first time with the fresh-from-the-garden-zucchinis.  YUM!

Birthday parties for cousins...

A week without air conditioning and having to purchase a brand spanking new unit.  But, I'm not could be SO much worse!

Loving on this guy and hearing him tell stories of the cross.

Crafting.  This was one of my latest.  It's a magnetic make-up holder.  Thank you Pinterest!

We did a Yard Sale Fundraiser the weekend after our online auction.  Whew!

Organizing all the books on little guys bookshelves in preparation of homeschooling (we start next week!) and him "helping".

So that pretty much wraps up my summer!  What have you all been doing this summer while you've been waiting?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Just pausing.

Just pausing today to remember our rainbow.  One year ago today, we learned of his presence in our lives and that we would be adding to our family.  Today begins the emotional rollercoaster of the next 19 weeks including "anniversaries" (I really don't like that word, but can't think of another one that really fits) of Shyla's death, birth and burial as well as her EDD 2 years ago.  Also in the next 19 weeks, it will be one year from Jakin's first appointment when no heartbeat could be found and being told I would miscarry, the follow up appointment that proved he was a strong baby and was measuring 2 days ahead, his diagnosis, and his death.  All these days of pausing to remember happen between now and Thanksgiving.

Of course, many other things are happening in our lives right now and will happen between now and Thanksgiving.  Ethan starts homeschooling next week, I've kind of organized a local group of homeschoolers to start meeting, I have another speaking engagement scheduled for September, (hopefully) many Tupperware parties, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is in October, we have a few more fundraisers on the books and are praying our file gets sent to Korea before Thanksgiving.

But today, I pause to remember Jakin and his life and the excitement that surrounded it.

And hopefully, I will laugh, because if you didn't know, that is what his name means, "God will establish Laughter".

Thanks for thinking of us over the next few months as we pass all the "One year ago..." and "two years ago..."

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

While We Wait: In His Word

I started this blog as a way to let our friends and family follow our adoption journey and through the course of our online auction, I feel like it also needs to be a place to connect with other families.  With that being said, introducing...

While We Wait Wednesdays!

Every Wednesday, I would like to post a topic and let all the "waiting" families out there link up so we can connect with each other and make this wait time fly by!  I also have learned that God can teach us as much in the waiting as he can when we reach our destination.  With that being said, I hope that other adoptive families will hop on board and share a little about their families and their "waiting".  Families that have already been connected with their little ones are also invited to join in and reminisce about their time waiting or show us something they are currently "waiting" for.  I don't have a button for this blog hop yet, but hopefully soon.  The linky will be open from Wednesday morning until the following Tuesday evening.  Hopefully, I new topic will be posted every Wednesday morning!  

This week's While We Wait topic:

In His Word 

I've found so much in God's Word since we started our adoption journey.  We signed our first paper in January and I had just started reading the Bible through in 90 days.  It was a lofty goal, but I did it and I was so happy I did.  I have done the One Year Bible in the past, but I always fall off the wagon about August, get behind and feel like I'm all off track.  The 90 day plan on the Bible app really helped me stay focused, but really didn't leave much time for studying specific scriptures.  I bookmarked these along the way and have been going back through and studying them.  This morning, I was praying and looking to God's Word for peace and direction.  We got some news about Korea last week that left us feeling pretty confused and we have considered changing countries.  This morning, this was the scripture that stuck out to me the most:

Bow in prayer.  Don't ask questions.  Wait for hope to appear.

So I paused and prayed and then I saw this on my highlighter:

If you can't tell, that says, "KOREA".

All right, I get it.

Be still.  Pray.  Wait on God.  Don't force things.

What have you found in the Bible that has brought you encouragement, peace or patience lately?

Monday, August 1, 2011

So Loved

Wild Olive

We feel SO LOVED by all that has been done for us during the planning and the course of the online auction.  I knew it would be a lot of work, but whew!  In the end, totally worth it!  With just 10 minutes to spare, we hit our goal of $1000 and by the end, we were $24 over!!!  Praise God!

Thank you to all that donated!

Thank you to all that prayed!

Thank you to all that bid!

Thank you all for allowing God to use you in a practical way!

And thank you to all the winners and to those generous ones who are adding a couple of dollars on to your total bid (with the help of that handy "donate" button on the top left side bar) to help incur the shipping costs without it biting into our total raised!

Now that the auction is over, I really want to talk about something besides myself, fundraising and stuff.  Even beautiful stuff is just stuff.  I want to share about the news we got regarding Korea and new adoption laws, but first I want to share about something amazing that Wild Olive Tees is doing.  When I read the email from them in my inbox yesterday, I knew I had to share it with all of you because it touched my heart in some very deep places.  It is a story of love, adoption, orphans, heart conditions and the death of a child dearly loved.  If you know much about our story, you know why these topics are so close to me.  I could barely read through their story without being brought to tears.  But I would love to share it with you.   Please, please, GO HERE and read about precious little Esther and what you can do to help support other orphan's with heart defects like hers.  Wild Olive has designed the SO LOVED shirts like this one:

Wild Olive

to help fund future heart surgeries of orphans in China like little Esther. 100% of the proceeds of the sale of this shirt go to that cause. And because Wild Olive is so generous they are giving away 15 of these shirts! Please go support Wild Olive as they bring hope to these orphans by giving them the surgeries that they need while they wait for their forever family.