Sunday, March 31, 2013


We are pretty much waiting for a phone call that feels like it may never come.  We've readjusted expectations on a time line.  We've prepared as best we can for possible scenarios.  We've gotten our email inbox from 358 emails down to 4 - that was just me, but it felt like a major victory.  We've told the girls that we might get brothers soon that will be little - or we might not.  They are mostly oblivious, for which I am grateful.

At this point, we are just doing normal life and praying for whatever may come.  Praying for the mother.  Praying for the boys.  Praying for peace and discernment for everyone involved.  Lots of praying, because at this point, that is the only thing left to do.  There is something comforting about being at the place where the only positive activity in the direction of this situation is prayer.  I am sure that God likes us to be at that place, and I am learning a lot about trusting him.

In Easter news - Christ has risen.  Death is beaten.  Such glorious news to revel in and try to teach to toddlers.  We've been to church both last night and this morning and enjoyed the services and living in the freedom that Resurrection Sunday brings.


I made the girls' dresses, and they loved them so much that they are still wearing them.  They refused to change for naps.  Makes a mama heart happy when they like something you made for them.


Someone tried to photo-bomb, much to the girls' delight.


After naps, we had egg-hunting fun.  They are at the perfect ages for this to be absolutely one of the most fun things they could imagine doing.  We did hunt for eggs wearing rain boots due to the ground being completely soaked with water.


Thanks for your continued prayers and support - we feel buoyed up by the encouragement.  In the grand scheme of things, this time will seem short.  I know I will sort of think that as we look back at it, no matter what happens.  Right now, it feels long, but I know we are on the right path.  And I am thankful to not be pulling the strings.

Happy Easter!

Friday, March 29, 2013


And, we continue to wait.  At this point, it feels a bit redundant.  I have been in contact with the babies' grandmother each day this week - sometimes a couple of times a day.  Getting to know her and see her godliness have been such a blessing.  These boys are covered in prayer, and I am forever thankful for that.  We have as many ducks in a row as we can, and so we just wait for a call.  It's like waiting to give birth to a baby, except with much less info.  So, not great.

This verse spoke to me today - Deuteronomy 31:8

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

In light of the potential upcoming changes, we have tried to take extra time with the girls.  We had planned to do this princess night for my birthday and decided to go ahead and do it.  The weather cooperated, and it turned out to be so much fun.


I mentioned it in this post, but the dress I am wearing is my prom dress from high school that my mother made me.  (Side note - Mom is an amazing seamstress.  Now that I have made dresses, I am in extreme awe of her talent and skill.  Thanks, Mom!)  The girls were so excited when they saw me in my dress.  Bella kept jumping up and down, and Lily just kept petting the skirt.  I had a friend come and take pictures of us at the house - thanks, Linds!


We stopped and John got us all flowers.


John had contacted a horse-drawn carriage (his idea!) and arranged a ride for us.  We surprised the girls who were delighted to see the horse named Diesel.


We got into the carriage and rode around down-town Little Rock.  As you might imagine, we garnered a bit of attention.  It felt like we were in Asia again as people on the streets whipped out their phones to take pictures.  The girls waved, as if we were our own parade.


Our driver brought a small dog with her that enamored the girls.


The carriage ride lasted an hour, which was really just right.  By the end, Bella was testing out how fun the floor could be.


Afterward, we headed to dinner at Ciao Restaurant in downtown LR.  I got no pictures of this event, but I can testify that the food was delicious.  Our proverbial clock struck midnight when Bella had had enough of everything and insisted on throwing things to the floor.  She then pounded the table and managed to flip a fork into her face.  We got dessert to-go.

John and I enjoyed the peace and charming fun that this evening brought.  Since we don't know what is headed our way in the coming days, we felt like this was a sweet gift from the Lord during this time.  So thankful that God knows what will and should be and will never leave our side.

Thursday, March 28, 2013


Honestly, it feels that we are under attack with this turn in our adoption process, and I am fairly confident that we are.  Thanks for your prayers, and please keep them coming.  We need it.  Last night I tossed and turned most of the night and also suffered from an extremely sore throat.  While at the doctor today, we were able to confirm that I have strep throat.  John's day went from crazy to crazier at every turn.

I've had defeating thoughts like, "Why should we even bother with this?" and "This feels way too hard."  I'm emotionally on edge and was in tears most of the time I sat in the doctor's office, which was probably not helped by having to wait extra long and feeling miserable.  Though a kind and overly talkative lady did tell me that I was very pretty, but she could tell I was sick because of my eyes.  "Your eyes look sick," she said.

Do these eyes look sick to you?


I do have to hand it to the girls - they tried to be sweet to me this afternoon, which I really appreciated.

While laying still this afternoon, this verse came to mind - Isaiah 40:31.

but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

Oh, how I want to be able to run and not grow weary, and we certainly need our strength renewed.  I'm working on keeping my hands wide open and hoping for the absolute best.  God can do that.  Either way, we are committed to this family, and we are all the way in, which is a scary place to be.  But, I know this is where God wants us.

After lying on the couch all afternoon, I mustered up some Diet Dr. Pepper fueled energy to dye Easter Eggs with the girls.  We are trying to keep things as normal for them as possible for as long as possible since we have no idea the time or day that things could go down on the adoption front.

First, we went through Resurrection Eggs that tell the story of Christ's death and resurrection.  I'm not sure how much of the gravity they picked up, but they did enjoy opening the eggs.


Next up, egg dying time.  The girls were so excited!  (You can see past years - 2012 - 2011)


I pretty much just let the girls have at it.  This meant that Bella kept intentionally dropping the eggs to hear the crunch, and Lily kept grabbing eggs that had been finished to dye yet another color.  Which really resulted in sort of greenish brown eggs overall.  But, they had fun, and that's what counts.


And here's a bonus pic - Bella put on her superhero mask.


And we keep waiting.  Hoping for brothers.  As a side note, Lily is very concerned about our brothers, even though we haven't really told her what's going on.  She keeps asking questions like, "Will we need a bigger bath tub when our brothers come?"  Sweet girl.  She's got the logistics covered, so I won't have to worry about anything.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


To say that our world has been rocked this week is an extreme understatement.  I have debated on whether or not to share this story publicly, but I really believe it is God's story that we are living right now.  The wider it can be spread, the better.

I want to warn you now - this story may not have a happy ending.  We are right in the thick of it, and there are so many unknowns that it makes my head spin when I try going down different roads.  I feel like for the past several days, we have tried to put one foot in front of the other and do each next step as it comes.  God is going before and behind us hemming us in.  He's so good like that, but that does not guarantee a happy ending.  It guarantees his presence, which we can feel and which is infinitely better than so-called "happy endings" on Earth.

On Monday morning I was approached by a friend who knew of people looking for an adoptive family for twin boys that are supposed to be born any day.  She said she knew where we were in our adoption process but felt compelled to share this with us, knowing that we have been praying specifically for and are approved for infant twins.  And hoping for boys.

After calling John and talking and praying, we decided to get more info.  I want to guard the parties involved in this story, so the details on the blog will be pretty vague.  After learning more, I contacted our social worker to see if we could get our home study updated for a domestic adoption.  She said, "Sure!"  I called an adoption attorney based on her recommendation who answered the phone (though she is on vacation, I later learned), and the lawyer told me what questions to ask and how the process should work.  All of this was Monday afternoon.

I talked with the grandmother of these twins who very much wants to find a loving Christian family for these boys.  When I told her our story and parameters, she was in tears over God's faithfulness.  We have been hoping for twin boys, and she has been trying to find a family for her yet-to-be-born twin grandsons.

John and I took the evening of Monday night to continue praying and thinking.  Tuesday morning, we woke up and felt a strange peace about moving forward.  I emailed the grandmother, who replied joyously with, "I don't know what their first names will be, but it sounds like they will be of African-American-German descent as Spensts!"

Now we are working on details, major and minor alike.  Because of all the characters at play and the risks involved, there are so many things that could go wrong.  In fact, at this point, I almost feel more prepared for things to go badly than to bring home newborns in the coming days or weeks.  But, we are praying for good things and ultimately for God's name to get more glory, whatever that looks like.  He places the lonely in families, and we hope that these boys will become our sons.

As John put it, we have been ready and waiting for a call - we just thought it would come from Ethiopia.  And maybe it still will.  But, for now, we are on a different path.  (I have spoken with our other adoption agency to give them a heads up, and until this adoption is finalized, we will stay on the Ethiopia wait list.)  This is obviously not the path we had picked, but through the whole adoption process we have wanted two main things: 1) To Add to our Family, hopefully boys and 2) To Fill a Need in the World through Adoption.  As we looked at this opportunity, it checked those boxes.

So now we are doing a different kind of waiting.  The kind where I literally carry my phone all the time with the possibility that the birth-mother has gone into the hospital to have these boys.  And we bought a mini-van tonight - because we will need the extra room that a Swagger Wagon provides.


At this point, we are all in.  This story will always be a part of our lives regardless of what happens next.  It has already been amazing to see God's finger-prints all over it.  We have also been so encouraged by the prayers and support of our friends and family.  We are not in it alone, and it is mind-blowing to see God's people rally around us.  These boys are covered in prayer, which is so exciting.  Brings tears to my eyes.

Here are the ways that you can pray -
1) For miraculous health and safety for the baby boys
2) For the birth mother
3) For Lily and Bella if we do get brothers in the coming weeks
4) For John and I to continue to be unified and gracious in the midst of stressful circumstances

Looking forward to all that God has in store - thanks for following along!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


So, there is some stuff stirring on our adoption front.  I'm not quite ready to go internet public with all of it, but I wanted to record some of my own thoughts and feelings captured in just this moment.

God had to do a lot of work to make me open to adoption and to show me that this was his plan for our family.  His plan is always better than mine, so why I doubt that is hard to imagine.  Except for the fact that I have to give up control.  And I like control - or at least my flawed perception of control.


Here's the deal - adoption is straight-up messy.  It involves tragedy.  It involves paper work.  It involves uncertainty.  It involves doubt.

I doubt myself and my own ability to mother children that I didn't birth.  I doubt the timing.  I doubt the future.  I wish it weren't true, but those are the facts.  It is scary.  I hope the love will come.  It's like I can see it, hovering on the horizon.  It seems like this interminable winter where I am waiting for the warmth of spring to come and wondering if it ever will.  I know it will, but I can't always feel it, which is a bit scary.

And then I look to the Lord.  I see his goodness.  I see the way he adopted me.  I feel the love he has for me, and the love he has for whichever boys he chooses to be our sons.  I know the story is ultimately about him, and that we are tiny little pieces in it that serve to make his story known and better understood in this fallen world.

He has called us into this work, and he will equip us for it.  I want to follow what he has for us and be obedient to his leading.  Mostly, I want to get out of the way and see his goodness in the land of the living.  What glorious things he has in store, because he is such a good God.  I'm so thankful we get to celebrate the redemptive work he did for us on the cross this week.


And I am thankful that he writes our stories.  He is the best story-teller there is.

Monday, March 25, 2013


We had a wild spring break that was all over the place.  Here's a quick recap, mostly in pictures.

Monday was the day of potty training fail, round two.

Tuesday we went to the LR Zoo with a bunch of our friends and all of Little Rock.  The train ride was a major hit.


Wednesday we picnicked at the Old Mill in NLR on the day that was turning ever colder.


Wednesday afternoon, the girls and I headed to Siloam Springs to hang out with all the girls from my family + all the kiddos.  The next several days were a blur of fun, doing nails, laughing, kid wrangling and general merriment.


There was also picture taking.


And Face-Timing.


As well as True's first hair cut.  He was getting sort of mullety.


And, of course, on Thursday there was the big excitement of John's crazy afternoon.  We drove home Saturday morning and arrived just in time to head to the SEC Gymnastics Championship.  We met up with friends and enjoyed cheering on the Hogs.


Sunday was my birthday, but it contained lots of other activities that we needed to be part of, like church and Lawson's Super Hero Party, which was Super Fun and Super Cute.


My super-girls later brought me cards that they picked out.  One had kitties and did actually say Happy Birthday.  The other one had a bunny and said "Happy Easter, Son."  They were so proud of themselves.


John and I rounded out the night eating a to-go Chocolate Sack from SO and watching March Madness.  We have other birthday plans for later this week, but I am not sure if they will work out or not - we shall see!


And now, just like everyone else, I am cheering for warmer weather, Wichita State and world peace.  Who's with me?