Our Story

Our Story
We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life. But those who make their journey home across time and miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them, are carried on the wings of destiny and placed among us by God's very own hands.
~ Kristi Larson ~

Not flesh of my flesh, Nor bone of my bone, But still miraculously my own. Never forget for a single minute, You didn't grow under my heart - but in it!
~ Fleur Conkling Heylinger ~
Adoption is not the call to have the perfect, rosy family. It is the CALL to Give LOVE, MERCY, and PATIENCE.

Monday, December 22, 2014


Boy it sure has been a long time since I have written.  My blog used to be my therapy - my way to pour my heart out - my passion while waiting during our adoption.  Well - - now with a full time career and a family of 7 to care for it is not so easy to drop in front of the computer and jot my thoughts down.  It is harder to have thoughtful ideas to share with my readers - my mind seems jumbled and busy just like the rest of my life.  Thanks to a little mis-hap with my laptop I no longer had the ease to cuddle up on the couch with my thoughts to write, either.  Well - thanks to an early Christmas present I am back in business and determined to take a minute to catch up on some writing.

Well - - since I last wrote we have had a couple of milestones.  We celebrated Nahome and Isaiah's TWO YEAR Gotcha days!  It feels just like yesterday that I first took them in my arms and hugged them for the first time.  And yet it feels like they have been a part of our family forever - woven into our family dynamic.  When I look back at how far we've come I am blessed beyond measure at God's Hand in it all.

It is interesting to look back on how our family has progressed.  I vaguely remember a blur of about 5 years of diapers and crying and exhaustion - it was full of pregnancies and babies being born every other year.  The few following years were full of tantrums and cuddles and sticky fingers on the windows.  As a mom, I was still exhausted and usually covered in someone's snot but my heart was full and I felt like I was finally starting to get the hang of this whole parenting bit.

Well -God was not done with us yet - - not even close!  He wanted our obedience, our hearts, our home, our family to be willing to follow His lead.  We started down an emotional and exhausting journey to find ourselves and God's heart, while growing our family through adoption.  It is one of the HARDEST things that I have ever done, and yet I CANNOT imagine doing anything else!

There were a LOT of tears and hard days in the beginning.  It is amazing to think of how far we have come.  Weekends were hard - holidays were harder -and life was filled with fear of setting someone off and visions of all the therapy that the kids would need when they grew up.  Slowly but surely the fist fights turned into bro hugs and our family dynamic molded into our new us.

There are hard days now - days when everyone is bickering with each other - days that if I see another eye roll I'll jab my eyes out - days I watch my son whirlwind into attention seeking behaviors because of his deep rooted grief from his past - days my daughter cries and asks when will she get a sister to help fend off all the 'love' from her brothers - days my heart hurts for family across the continent that miss out on the sweet bedtime kisses and soccer goals that I get to witness in their place.

With five kids in my home and my heart I have come to realize a few things - there will always be someone mad at someone else - there will always be someone hungry - there will always be an empty fridge - there will never be an agreement on a movie - there will always be someone mad about what's for dinner - there will always be clutter and laundry strewn throughout the house (no matter how many times you tell them to pick up after themselves).....but I am also thankful that - - there will always be someone to cuddle with on the couch - there will always be someone to give me a hug when I'm having a bad day - someone always winks and says I love you when I check on them in the rear view mirror - someone's little hand always finds mine when walking in to church - someone is almost always giggling and laughing at something.

My family looks nothing like what I thought it would when I was a little girl and dreaming of my future Ken and Barbie life and boy am I thankful.  God had bigger and better plans and I love my not so little family!  I am so very excited to see how far our family has come and where He will take us next! God is not done with us yet - not even close...and boy am I thankful!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from our family to yours!

We pray this Christmas that you will take the time to reflect and remember how far God has brought you and your family.  We pray that you will consider what God has done and what He wants to do in your lives.  We pray that you will also realize that God is not done with YOU yet and that you will seek HIS will in the coming year!

Sunday, June 22, 2014


I recently started a mom's Bible study group called "Beautiful Mess".  It is based off of the movie "Mom's Night Out" which is SO GOOD (totally go see it if you haven't).  I have been inspired and motivated by the daily reading and the lessons included in it.  When I watched the movie tonight I was reminded of a couple of things!

**ONE**   Motherhood is NOT always pretty!!  Motherhood is hard and EXHAUSTING!!  It does not matter if you have a newborn...five year old....ten year old....twenty year old....a mama heart is ever present - always worrying - wanting the best - trying to fix things and make things ideal.  The truth is that motherhood is a mess sometimes - full of those moments when you want to scream or cry or eat chocolate in a closet!!  Those moments when you feel outnumbered or on the verge or past the point of no return.  Those moments when you wonder how you got into this mess - why you got into this mess - how do you get out of this mess!  Motherhood is hard....but important!

**TWO**  You are NOT the only mother who has moments!!!  You are not alone in feeling EXHAUSTED and worn down (physically, emotionally, spiritually).  When you see other moms who have it all together and they are the perfect soccer mom....they AREN'T!!  They are having a good moment....but all moms struggle and it is okay to share in each others successes and lean on each other in moments of chaos and eye twitching stress!!  It takes mothers of all stages and ages to walk beside each other and encourage!

**THREE**  Our kids will need us differently each stage they are in!  There may be diapers and bottles and carseats....or there may be homework and iphones and sleepovers...or there may be boyfriends and driver's licenses.  Each new stage will bring a different role from mom.  I am learning that it is hard to watch them grow and mature and start having some independence.  The worry changes from them getting diaper rash or skinning a knee - - to worrying about who their friends are and what they talk about when we're not around.  They begin to push away, trying to find their own footing on their life.  You wonder if you taught them enough - if you loved them enough - if they know God enough!

** FOUR**  I think it is an innate feeling for mothers to second guess themselves.  To always wonder if they are doing enough - if they are scarring their kids for life - if they are blowing it!  I loved the part in the movie when the mom says "I'm not good enough."  She was asked "For who?"  She responded with "for my husband, my kids, God..."  The response was, "No....for you!  You are not good enough for you!"  So often we set the bar for ourselves SO high - Unattainably high - and then act defeated when we cannot live up to our expectations!!  What do we expect???

* Now it is important to know that I am TOTALLY preaching to ME!!  I am as guilty as anyone else of being a control freak, feeling defeated as a mom, second guessing everything I do, and wondering if I am good enough!  Motherhood is hard and I have had (have) my fair share of moments - those not pretty ones where your mascara is running and either you are hiding out from your children or your children are hiding out from you!  I have had those moments of wondering what have I gotten myself into - feelings of being outnumbered - and even feelings of regret.  What I have come to realize through this study is that I am a mess....but I am God's mess!  If He can make me into a masterpiece and bless me with being a mama, then He will help me along the way!  To God - To my husband - to my kids....I am ENOUGH....but I need His help to be who they need me to be!

Here are some of my favorite quotes I've run across so far from my "Beautiful Mess" study!
* "Mom, you do not have to have all the answers.  In fact, you won't always have the answers!"
* "Our craving for approval can be devastating to our souls, making us feel like we're not enough for today or tomorrow."
* "Our weaknesses and struggles nudge us to reach out to others and ultimately show us how much we need God in every detail of our lives."
* "We become so overwhelmed at the thought of tomorrow that we forget to focus on today!"
* "Satan wants us to feel overwhelmed at every rebellious choice our kids make and every time they shut down into a wall of resentment."
* "The expectations were my own....built around my desire to look like I had it all together."
* "God decides our encounters, we decide our engagement."
* "When they push back, ignore it, lean in, and keep pursuing your teen."
* The mere fact that we get through parenthood and can share sweet memories on the other side gives us a hope for the future!"

I hope that this encourages you moms out there - to keep leaning on God and realizing that you are right where you need to be - being the mom your kids need - with the help of our Father!  Keep at it mamas - YOU ARE ENOUGH!!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

THREE YEARS - Our family will NEVER be the Same!

It started out as a typical Sunday morning - THREE years ago today!.  We went to church - prayed and praised God for the family and gifts He had given us!  Started lunch in our kitchen and Josh rocked our world with the question....."What do you think about adopting a little sister!?"  If you know anything about our story then you know that God led us on an emotional and stretching few years to bring not a sister into our home but TWO brothers.  If you don't know our story - I encourage you to go back to the BEGINNING of our blog and read up....to God be the glory!

God started us out on our journey - that started with kicking and screaming and hesitancy and quickly turned into having our eyes open to a whole new level of God's love and compassion.  He worked in and through us - He taught us to lean on Him and follow His leading for our family.  Well - TWO years ago today we looked into the eyes of a sweet little boy that God allowed to be our son!  I reread my post from that day and it brought tears to my eyes - - read about it HERE!  God had it all planned out - down to every little detail...including his name - - read about it HERE!

God was not done with us yet and has taught us SO MUCH MORE over the last TWO YEARS!  About love and grace and patience and mercy and grief!  Here is the video that we made to introduce Nahome to the world all those many months ago.....pay CLOSE ATTENTION to the last picture in the frame.....a boy who seemed to be on the sidelines but like I said - God was NOT done with us yet - - read about it HERE!

Today - THREE YEARS from starting this journey - TWO YEARS from seeing his sly little smile we have a healthy, giggly, bouncy young man who brings SO much joy to our lives!

I cannot imagine our family without him.....

Or Him....
to God be the glory!

Sunday, March 16, 2014


I heard this song on my way to church - - I'm ready to DO SOMETHING!  How about you???

I woke up this morning 
Saw a world full of trouble now 
Thought, how’d we ever get so far down 
How’s it ever gonna turn around 
So I turned my eyes to Heaven 
I thought, “God, why don’t You do something?”
Well, I just couldn’t bear the thought of 
People living in poverty 
Children sold into slavery 
The thought disgusted me 
So, I shook my fist at Heaven 
Said, “God, why don’t You do something?” 
He said, “I did, I created you” 
If not us, then who 
If not me and you 
Right now, it’s time for us to do something 
If not now, then when 
Will we see an end 
To all this pain 
It’s not enough to do nothing 
It’s time for us to do something 
I’m so tired of talking 
About how we are God’s hands and feet 
But it’s easier to say than to be 
Live like angels of apathy who tell ourselves 
It’s alright, “somebody else will do something” 
Well, I don’t know about you 
But I’m sick and tired of life with no desire 
I don’t want a flame, I want a fire 
I wanna be the one who stands up and says, 
“I’m gonna do something” 
We are the salt of the earth 
We are a city on a hill 
But we’re never gonna change the world 
By standing still 
No we won’t stand still 
No we won’t stand still 
No we won’t stand still

Sunday, March 9, 2014


I have been meaning to write for a while but just wasn't sure what to say.  My blog has always been a place of therapy and healing for my soul.  A place to pour my heart out and share my fears and joys.  It is not only about me though, I want my posts to make a difference.  I want those reading them to be moved and feel as if my words were thought out and heartfelt.  I have been busy being Mom to 5 kids but to be honest - over the last many months I didn't really feel like I had much to offer in a blog post.  My words were muddled and my heart wasn't feeling much to share.  I am beginning to see why and I want to share with you what I am learning.

Have you ever been run through the ringer emotionally??  Not just the highs and not just the lows - but this crazy cycle of both!?  I will try to paint a picture for you.  For 2 years we poured our heart and soul into our adoption journey - an adoption journey mind you that we didn't even know we were destined for.  Over those 2 years we dealt with fear, stress, joy, courage, trembling, shock, elation, confusion, frustration, weariness, heartache, compassion, awakening, anger, bitterness, feelings of being overwhelmed, heartbroken, filled to the brim, eye-opening, feelings of being insane, tired, crazy, joyful, thankful, grateful.  You could pick any combination of these feelings and often I would feel them on any given day.  I have had some of my highest of high moments and lowest of low moments over these last couple of years!  Adoption is an EMOTIONAL ROLLER COASTER - it is NOT for the weak at heart.  We learned more about God's grace, mercy, strength, love, compassion.  He opened our eyes to what He wanted us to see - and I'm telling you it was not always pretty.  It was often heart wrenching and humbling.  I have never felt closer to God than over these 2 years - I poured my heart out to Him for direction and guidance for protection and comfort for my children (His children).  These emotions came to a climax as the boys came home - then we spent the next many months over the last year and a half helping our boys process those some crazy emotions listed above - grief and anger, confusion and sadness, happiness and joy, experiencing firsts and the fears that come with it, reminiscing and remembering, yearning and weariness.

After 3 years of high EMOTIONS I have realized that I was on emotional overdrive for so long that somewhere along the journey it turned into survival mode.  I was truly doing little more than surviving - at times I felt as if I was even failing at that.  My emotions were spent and spread thin - I felt washed up and dried out.  I felt as if I had lost my passion and fire - like there wasn't enough strength left in my heart to feel passionate about anything while still clinging on for survival.

I woke up one morning over the last month or so and realized that my heart yearns to feel again.  Survival mode is not good enough any longer.  God has been speaking in that still small voice kind of way - stirring my heart.  It feels like a fog is lifting and God is awakening something in me.  I want to have a direction and purpose - to feel like I am making a difference in the world around me.  I want to cling to God and seek his guidance in my life.  I want to feel passionate for what God is doing in and through me!  I know that it may not always be easy and that it may not always be comfortable but I'm ready for God to grow me and use me and show me more of His heart!

In church today we sang Life Song and the second verse hit close to home and I could feel God continuing to awaken my soul!

Lord I give my life
A living sacrifice
To reach a world in need
To be Your hands and feet

So may the words I say
And the things I do
Make my lifesong sing
Bring a smile to You

I am ready to stop merely surviving and start living again!  Who is with me??  

Stay tuned to the blog - I think God has BIG plans for us as He continues to Awaken our hearts!