Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It's in the Mail!!

Today was a big day for us in our adoption process.  Our dossier went into the mail!  If you aren't familiar with international adoption this may be a new term for you.

Here's the technical fancy definition:

Dossier: When used in the context of adoption, this term refers to a set of appropriately authenticated and translated legal documents which are used in international adoption cases to process the adoption of a child in its own country by the adoptive parents, or for the adoptive parents to obtain the legal custody or guardianship of the child in the foreign court, so the child can be brought by the adoptive parents to the United States for adoption.

Here's my layman's simple definition:

Dossier: A heck of a lot of paperwork.....all notarized. 

There's not really a way to show how much paper it was.  But trust me....a lot!  Some of the items in this pile include: homestudy, financial statements, reference letters, doctor's health checks, fingerprint clearances, pictures, copies of passports, marriage licenses, birth certificates, copies of driver's licenses and one very large check!

Whew!  I don't know if you can tell but we were pretty excited....

I had a big smile on my face the entire time I was at the post office.  I imagine she thought I was a tad crazy.  : ) 

So what happens next?  All that paperwork is headed to our adoption agency.  Then, the parts that are needed in the Congo will be translated into French.  Then, they'll be off to the government in the Congo.  Once there, we'll be put on the list to wait for our referral.  A referral will be a picture and information on a waiting child.  We will be able to pray about it and decide of this is our son.

After these last few months of everything depending on me and my progress in the process it feels so good, and somewhat hard to believe, that it is out of my hands for the time being.  Prayer is being called into action in a BIG way now. 

Thank you for your help in getting us this far and we look forward to sharing with you during the next steps of this process!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Define Necessity

There has been a picture going around the e-mail, pinterest and e-mail world I imagine you've seen. It always helps put this time of year into perspective.  Every time I see it show up I can't help but think of our son waiting for us in the Congo. 

I also recently came across the photography of Lynsey Addario and I haven't be able to get it out of my mind and my heart. To think of our son here, in this pain and loss and fear is heart-wrenching.

I'll warn you the pictures are eye opening and painful and shocking.  It makes my heart physically
hurt. Especially in such stark contrast to the materialism of Christmas surrounding us right now.  At the bottom of her screen you can flip through the pictures.  Put your cursor over the caption button and you can read about the picture. 

This slideshow is about the Democratic Republic of the Congo:

This slideshow is about rape in the Congo:

I hope this makes it how obvious the need is in the Congo.  I hope it shows you how your support of this adoption is truly helping to save a life.  Whatever role you have played in bringing our son home is vital and we cannot say thank you enough. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Bump

Taryn has really gotten into choosing her own outfits lately.  I always knew I was lucky that she let me pick them out for so long.  We've had some exciting ensembles come up those stairs but really, a lot of times it isn't all that bad.  The bigger issue is generally how she wants to wear the clothes.  Case in point, shirt-tucking.  For whatever reason the girl feels the need to shove her tunics into her leggings.  Which also leads to my favorite question of the morning, 

"Momma.  Do I have a bump?"  Followed by this pose:  

That's a wad of shirt in there.  She wasn't born with that gifted tush.  Yes, baby, you have a bump.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Prayers for Paxten

I know I've mentioned our precious little friend Paxten before here but today is another big day in her life that needs to be covered in prayer. 

After Paxten's last relapse with leukemia it was decided by her doctors that the best path for giving her a wonderful future was a stem cell transplant.  In the time since September a donor has been found, a medical team assembled and Paxten has spent the last two weeks having her body basically wiped clean inside in preparation to take on the new cells.  Tonight, around 8:30 the transplant will take place.  While the procedure itself is pretty routine for Paxten, another bag hooked up to her already overwhelming supply of things going into her body, the implications of what this could do to her are monumental.  The side effects are dangerous and painful and challenging.  There will be weeks of waiting, watching and praying that her body will take on the gift of new healthy cells.  There will be months of trying to protect a very unstable and weak immune system. 

Please, please, if you understand the power of prayer as we do, etch out some time for Paxten, Libby and Blake today.  December 4th was the one year mark for this battle.  That means that the only two Christmas' that Paxten has known have been in the hospital.  She's had tubes coming out of her for longer than she hasn't.  She thinks nurses, doctors and hospital rooms are the norm.  Her friends are all found on skype and facetime. The risks of this procedure are high.  But we are so grateful and excited for Paxten's opportunity to be free of tubes, gloves, masks and medicines.  This is her opportunity for life, please pray.  And then leave them a note telling them that you're praying!

We love you Paxten, Blake and Libby!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Throughout the midst of the last couple crazy weeks of craft fairs, Thanksgiving and daily life with three little ones I've had this over-arching feeling of thankfulness.  Sometimes it has been almost an overwhelming feeling.  Like God has been saying, "Look Lindsey.  Look here.  Do you see what I'm doing here.  Oh, and see here how I've protected you.  And here, I'm providing."  And I do see it.  For that I'm so grateful.  I know I have a tendency in my life and walk with Christ to overlook those things.  To think I'm doing it in my own power.  Dangerous--I know. 

So many little things lately have shown me God's loving hand in my life.  And in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I truly was. 
  • Thankful for three amazing women put into my life through marriage.  My sister-in-laws have worked tirelessly for our adoption fund and to bring this little boy home. 
  • Thankful for a mother-in-law who has voluntarily come over a couple afternoons with the stipulation that I do WHATEVER I WANT!  What mom even knows what that means anymore? 
  • Thankful for a tip to our foster agency that headed off what had the potential to be a horrible experience with our little Mara.  I still shudder to think about it. 
  • Thankful for a sister-in-law who brought over not just one but several freezer meals so that I would be able to work later into the afternoons on adoption needs instead of starting dinner.
  • Thankful for a couple significant donations to our adoption fund that came out of the blue and even from people that we don't technically know very well.  So humbling. 
  • Thankful for a haircut and color.  Ok, vain I know but gosh darn it if it doesn't feel good and change a girl's perspective on things for a while.  : ) 
  • Thankful for a husband who is observant enough to recognize when I need time to clean, sleep, read or play.  He is always so in tune with the state of our family.
  • Thankful for three girls who make me laugh hourly.  Seriously.  The humor in children is a gift and a joy. 
  • Thankful for two successful craft shows despite our novice status. 
I'm praying that I continue to be made aware of the little things that God is doing around me.  I know that it isn't my first nature to recognize all that I have to be thankful for. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Time Marches On

It seems like I've spent a lot of time lately yelling (you know, a lot of CAPITAL letter usage) at you to check out our handiwork and to go here and there to buy it.  In between sewing, building and crafting for our future son we've had a lot of family fun too.  And the three little people in our lives here have done a LOT of growing. 

It has been so much fun watching these two develop a friendship.  Taryn is such a good big sister and Brecken smiles the largest for her sister in the morning. 

This is what happens when the window markers are used a little too low....

Mara has continued to put on weight, become more alert and capture our hearts.  She is truly a beautiful little girl on the outside and, I can tell as her personality emerges, in spirit. 

Guard your heart, here comes her pictures. Is there anything sweeter than a sleeping baby?

She finally gave us a smile and has been busy putting it to use ever since.  Capturing it has been a challenge though. 

This handsome man had a birthday. So blessed to have another year with him.

Taryn and I went to a ballet.  She was so excited.  It was cute.

The tree got decorated.  It may have been a little unbalanced in ornament distribution.  A for effort though.


She's smiling because this was pre-falling out of the tree.  It happened, there were tears.  Thankfully no broken bones though!

Some tenants left this fish tank in their unit when they snuck out in the night so apparently that meant that we needed to get a fish.  At least in 4 year old world.  So Bubble Guppy and Lolly Pop joined our family. 

If you stuck around through all that then I think you can agree that I'm one lucky momma!  

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Perks of the Job

Opening a drawer to find one of the magi waiting there for you. 

Strange fact: this was before we dug out the Christmas decorations that would have had our little people nativity set in it.  Poor guy's been missing his fellow wise men groupies for a year apparently.  Thankfully he showed up just in time. 

Fact 2: I have this thing about towels and the way they are folded.  I don't like edges to show.  And they have to all be stacked the same direction so that the edges can line up and be pointed to the back.  Wash cloths are my least favorite towel because there is no good way to fold it so the edges are hidden.  Add to that the problem that one of Brecken's favorite activities is opening this drawer and decorating the house with it's contents.

Such is life.  I'll take her gummy smiles and slobbery kisses over hidden towel edges any day! 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Come See Us!

Here's where we'll be this Saturday, December 3.  We'd love to see you!  Note the parts about a kids drop zone for the entire day even if you want to shop around town!!!  Also, there will be lunch available to come and and make a day of it!  From the sounds of things, this is a very full event so there should be lots to choose from for your Christmas shopping!
8 am – 3 pm 

Hope Community Church in Andover
1831 E. 21st St. Andover, KS
(next to the Andover turnpike exit)

Unique and wonderful Christmas Gifts!
Dozens of vendors will be offering a broad range of items!

• Jewelry • Scrapbooking Services
• Antiques • Salsa and Chili Blend Gift Packs
• Cosmetics • Jams and Jellies
• Ornamental Glass • Girls Accessories
• Home Decor • Cakes
• Ceramics • Hand-made baby shoes


It’s easier to shop without the little guys in tow. All day Saturday, Dec. 3 we’ll have a special KidsZone where they can play games, do crafts and tons more fun stuff. We’ll feed them too! You can drop them off, shop all over town, and pick them up when you’re done! All for a donation!

Holiday Bazaar Cafe

Tasty lunch and dessert items will be on sale. Plan to stay, eat and chat with friends.

Hope Community Church Invites You To:

Sunday, November 27, 2011

They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To!

But Derek does!!  I promised another post of all of the items that we have for sale in our adoption fundraiser that are hand-crafted wood projects.  As my girl's have grown we've done the search for toys each year trying to find a balance between quality and cuteness and price.  Some stuff is cute but super-cheap and I know that we'll be stuck re-buying the item when Brecken gets old enough to play with it.  So we go searching for a higher quality and are knocked over by the price.  Thankfully, I've got a super-talented husband who is also adept at understanding my descriptions of what I'd like to see in our girls' rooms.  So, it is time to offer some of what he's create with you all too! 

Remember that 100% of your purchase will go to our adoption fund.  Please don't be afraid to ask about colors, sizes, other options etc.  We'd love to work to make something that works for you!

Baby Beds and High Chairs $30 each or the set for $50!
Pick your color and your mattress/bib pattern

Dress-Up Clothes Organizer: $50
This comes in the three colors that the beds/highchairs comes in.  The closet rod is great for hanging tu-tu's, dresses, occupation vests, etc.  The bottom has three dividers for shoes, crowns, jewelry, etc.

Step Stools: Just $15

Three-Piece Kitchen Set: $250
This can be made in a variety of color combinations.  One of Taryn's favorite places to play!

Play Loft: $450
This is by far the most ambitious project that I've asked of Derek and he was able to create what was in my head and beyond!  This loft is SO MUCH fun!  Originally it was just in a playroom and toys were kept up top.  As our family has grown, however, we decided to put it use even more and moved Taryn's toddler mattress up there.  She loves sleeping up here and all of her friends that come over are very impressed.  : )  It has been a wonderful way to maximize the use of space in her room.  Can be made in any color!

Well, if you've seen anything you have to have or if you have an idea of your own please don't hesitate to let us know!  We'd love to get you what you like and would value your support of adoption in the process!

Time To Shop!

Whew!  What a weekend.  We can officially say we've got one craft event under our belt.  While it was a little slower traffic-wise than I might have dreamed up in my head (picture black-friday-walmart-style hoards of people all clamoring for our home-made goodness), we were still able to bring home some more money for our baby's fund that we didn't start the day with.  For that we are so thankful!  Thank you to those of you who took the time out of your busy weekend to stop by.  It truly meant so much to us.  I've had a lot of questions about what's left, costs and how I can get it to you.  I'm happy to pass on all that information.  Please feel free to ask questions about colors and options and whatever else you want to know.  We'd be happy to deliver to you too. 

Remember 100% of your purchase will go straight to our Congo fund.  Now, time to shop!

Heated Corn Bags: $5
Great aches, pains, cramps, warming the foot of the bed, warming your car seat, etc. Super stocking-stuffer!

Hair Accessories Organizer: $15 
Ribbons for bows and flowers, small hooks for head bands at the bottom
These went pretty fast but we're making more so let me know if you're interested so we get enough made!

Christmas Tree Shirts: $10   12 mo, 18 mo, 24 mo, and 3T

Felt Food Sets: $5 a plate
A plate includes a turkey leg, baked potato with butter, carrot and 5 pea pods.

Diaper Bag Sets: $20
Bag, bib, 2 dipers, burp cloth, and wipes holder and 5 wipes.  Several patterns available.

Ruffle Bag Totes: $10
Several colors and two different sizes.  All have a Bible verse. 

Felt Diapers: 4 for $5

Tooth Fairy Pillow: $7
This has a little pocket on one side for a tooth and a chart on the back for recording your child's tooth losses.  There are more in the works in some more fabric options due to popular demand! 

Chef's Hats and Aprons: $20
These are so cute and really enhanced the girl's play. 

 Occupation Vests: $10 or 3 for $25

Capes: $5
There are several colors and shapes of these left.  Such fun for your little super-hero!

This was a long one so I'll do a separate post for all of the wood-working type items that we have. 
Please don't be shy about asking if there's something you are interested in and you'd like to support this adoption fundraiser.  Pass the link on to others that you think might be interested too!