Tuesday, September 29, 2009


We have had a great first official day of vacation. Here are a few highlights...

The SAH-WEET house we are renting.

Hanging out with Jesus (who just happened to be very easy on the eyes).

Eating in the "Ice Room" at a really cool restaurant, T-Rex.

And hanging out in the pool at our rental.

We are having a blast. It is really hot! Soon enough, I will be complaining that it is too cold, so I am trying to enjoy it. The kids are having a good time too!

I will update again soon! Oh, one more thing that totally cracks me up - I can not count the people today that stopped Brad to tell him he looks like Jesus! LOLLLLLL! Maybe it was because we were at a Christian "theme park" and Jesus was on their mind? I don't know, but it was dang funny. I finally told him since so many people think that, maybe he should get a job there. At least he could be making some money while we were on vacation! Funny stuff.

Ok, that's all.

Friday, September 25, 2009


I have an story about my sweet Jesus and His mercy. I guess if you are not a believer in Christ, this story wont mean much to you. Maybe, it will touch your soul. Maybe, you will see that Jesus can truly offer you something that you can not find anywhere else.

For a while now, I have really struggled with fear. Typically, it involves the health and safety of my children, the loss of my husband, and my health. Those things are constant worries for me. It got much worse right after I found out about my brain cavernoma (not to mention my strong family history of brain aneurysms). Let me just clarify, when I say fear, I mean crippling fear. I constantly play scenarios out in my mind. What would happen if Brad were in an accident (I don't worry about his health. Remember the post about his immortal grandparents? he has good genes. LOL)? What if my children were diagnosed with a terrible disease? What if I died and couldn't raise my babies? It goes on and on. And it is constant.

Well, a couple of weeks ago, Brad and Jackson were offered tickets to a South Carolina football game. This is a huge big deal to them. They were SO excited. However, the SC stadium is three hours away. They didn't care, but I was a nervous wreck. You see, they were going to drive to the game, and then drive home immediately after. At 11 o'clock at night. For three hours. UGH. Were they trying to kill me? The closer the game came, the more nervous I got. Well, by Wednesday I was really struggling. It was consuming me. What if a deer ran out in the road? What if their tire blew and it flipped the car? What if? What if? What if? I could hardly sleep Wednesday night, knowing they were leaving the next day. So on Thursday, every time I looked at Jackson, I cried. What if this was the last time I fixed him a cheese sandwich? What if I never get to teach him the next lesson in school? It was horrible. I honestly think, really, it was a full blown panic attack. I have no other explanation.

I prayed, my mom prayed, Brad prayed. They prayed for their protection, but they prayed for me too. I desperately needed release from this or the people from the loony bin were headed my way. Complete with my own personal straight jacket.

The mail came right after lunch. There was an envelope addressed to me from my mom. She didn't mention mailing me anything, so I was surprised. Anyway, it had a little devotion in it that made her think of me. The devotion was nice, but that wasn't what grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me. At the top of the paper it had this scripture:

"'For I know the plans I have for you', says the Lord . 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

Jeremiah 29:11

Not for disaster. To give me a future and a HOPE. Ok, Lord. I trust you. Thank you! Even though I knew these things, it felt good to read it and to be reminded of His promise to me. However, most of you know me... that lasted all of 5 minutes. LOL. So literally 10 minutes later, Jackson says to me, "Mom where is my bible verse that I am suppose to be reading?" No clue. So he goes to find it and brings it back to me. It was a doosy. Here is this one:

"In the same way, it is not my heavenly Father's will that even one of these little ones should perish."

Matthew 18:14

Okkkkk Lord. I hear you this time. You have a plan for me - not for disaster and my little ones are safe! Thank you JESUS! I promise the anxiety was GONE. I felt like a new person, literally release from the grips of fear. Only He can provide such overwhelming peace. And I am still praising Him for it!

I also want to add this - I know that I am not guaranteed safety and perfect health for my family and myself forever. I understand that sometimes Jesus delivers us from the fire, sometimes he delivers us through the fire and sometimes he delivers us from the fire into His arms. I believe this time, he delivered me through the fire. He has shown me that for today, I can cling to that scripture He gave me. For today. Tomorrow, should something happen that I fear the most, I have His word to get me through.

It flippin rocks to be so free in Jesus!


Our social worker just left! We are officially done with that part of the paperchasing process. We are waiting on the draft, and when it's done, we can apply to the USCIS. I am a little nervous about that, I hear they are pretty tough. But, the end of the paperchase is in sight! Once those two things are done, certified and authenticated, we can send our documents to China! YAY!

The homestudy was a breeze. In the beginning it felt very intrusive. I almost felt like they were trying to "catch" me doing something wrong. I realize now that most of it is because of the Hague rules. The USCIS is very thorough and want LOTS of information. Like I had to twll our SW how many feet were between our bedroom and our daughter's bedroom. That has to actually be listed in the report. So, once I realized how it all plays a part, and they really weren't asking me to provide all of this information for nothing, I felt better about it.

I really enjoyed our social worker, I believe we got lucky. As nice as she is, I am am glad that I don't have to meet her again for a long time. LOL. It is exciting to think that when I meet her again, Jessica will be home.

Anyway, so another step done today. Whew. It feels good.

Friday, September 18, 2009

I. Need. Oxygen.

I am not kidding. The other night Brad and I stumbled across possibly the funniest thing we have ever seen. We watched it probably 356 times in a row. Seriously, the funniest thing ever. I decided to post a clip here for my peeps. All 11 of you. If you don't think it is hysterical, I probably can't be your friend anymore.

Sorry for the poor quality. It is worth it though. I would ask you to post a comment and tell me what you think, but you probably will be rolling on your floor laughing. You wont be able to type. Anyway, here it is!

For the record, I heart Ryan Reynolds.

Monday, September 14, 2009


I am not sure why I never thought about Jessica's birth mom before, but I really haven't. It is strange because I think about it all the time with adopted children that we know. I often wonder about the kid's moms and what they may have been like.

Today we had our first meeting with our social worker. She asked some tough questions, but they were one's I was prepared for. Then she asked, "What are your thoughts about the birth mom?" At first, I wasn't sure what she meant, so I asked her, "Our daughter's birth mom?" As soon as she said yes, I was overcome with emotion. I didn't mean to, but instantly tears filled my eyes and I just started crying. I am SURE she thought I was a lunatic. It honestly was the first time I really thought about Jessica's birth mom. MY daughter's birth mom.

It was so hard to compose myself. She handed me a tissue (groan!). Not exactly the picture you want to paint with a lady that is going to write up a report about how "stable" we are. I told her I could probably write a book on my feelings toward my little one's birth mom. However, the thoughts that come to mind in that instant are gratitude, sympathy, love. When it came time to ask Brad his thoughts, I was really unsure what he would say. He told her basically the same, and thankfulness that she chose to give our daughter life. Oh yikes. Tears again. Then and now.

I just never thought about all of this. Things have been so busy getting ready for the homestudy and the dossier preparation. Now I can't get it, or her, out of my mind. Oh how I grieve for her. I think about the day she had to leave her little treasure. Surely, her heart was broken into a million pieces. I think of how she packed her baby up, knowing that she would never see her again. I simply can not fathom the pain she felt. It hurts my feelings when one of my babies goes to the store with their daddy. I want them with me, all the time. The thought of bundling them up, and walking away forever, is simply too much to bear.

That sweet lady did what most mother's do not have the courage to do. She knew that her baby would have better opportunities at life if she gave her up. She sacrificed her feelings, for what she thought was best for her baby.

I will be eternally grateful to that sweet lady. I will pray for her for as long as I live. I pray that Jesus gives her peace. I pray he blesses her for her selfless act. I would give anything to wrap my arms around her and love on her and tell her thank you.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Hello, my name is Michele, and I am a slacker. I can't help it. I have tried to fight it, but the pull is too strongggg.

I have spent way too much time with my TV this summer. Most people don't watch a ton of TV in the summer. Shows are reruns, people are busy, etc... Me? Oh no, I haven't left my couch all summer. All of my typical shows are reruns, so I am not watching those. It's all the new ones that are killing me.

The pile of laundry in my bedroom is ridiculous. I am two days behind in my bible study. I haven't cooked a meal in days. It is 1 am, and where am I? That's right. Sitting in front of the tube (with the laptop in my lap).

What is sooo good that I can't turn the TV off you ask (Yeah, I know you didn't really ask. Just indulge me.)? Here is a list of the stupid shows I am obsessed with:

1. Ghost Hunters
2. Destination Truth
3. Survivorman (my personal favorite at the moment)
4. Toddlers and Tiaras (yes, I am ashamed)
5. Dr. G Medical Examiner

There are more, sadly enough, but those are the ones I watch the most. Sigh. My house is falling apart around me. LOL. I need an intervention.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


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We are meeting our social worker on Monday and Tuesday of next week for our first three (B and me, just B, and just me)visits. Then she is coming to our house on the 25th for the home inspection! WOO HOOOOOO! I prayed that the visits could be done before leaving for Florida (the 27th), and they will be! YAYYYYY! Praise Jesus!

I guess that means I have two weeks to really clean my house, eh?

Monday, September 7, 2009


I just got an email from the Director of Social Services saying that she reviewed all of our documents and is passing it on to the homestudy coordinator. Now, we get to wait on her to receive it, and then review it. THEN, MAYBE THEN, we can actually schedule our homestudy. I also found out that she is in Charlotte. 100 miles away. So after the $2500 payment I just made, I get to pay mileage for her to come here. Oh, and it gets better - we have to have 4 meetings with her.

At least I heard something though, right? I did have a good chat with my Jesus this morning, and I do feel better (I know you can't tell by my vent here, haha). I know that He has moved mountains, provided in ways that still blow my mind, and He is working on our behalf on this whole adoption. I know that all of this will be totally worth it.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Years ago (like 13 years ago), someone I knew shared this story with me called "Table for Two". It blew me away. I have saved a copy of it in my bible since the day he gave it to me. I'd like to share it, if I could. It is a little long for a blog post, but SO worth the read. I think you will be blessed and challenged. Please take a few minutes to read it.

by Kirsten Burgess

He sits by himself at a table for two.

The uniformed waiter returns to his side and ask, "Would you like to go
ahead and order, sir?" The man has, after all, been waiting since seven
o'clock--almost half an hour.

"No, thank you," the man smiles. "I'll wait for her a while longer. How
about some more coffee?"

"Certainly, sir."

The man sits, his clear blue eyes gazing straight through the flowered
centerpiece. He fingers his napkin, allowing the sounds of light chatter,
tinkling silverware, and mellow music to fill his mind. He is dressed in
sport coat and tie. His dark brown hair is neatly combed, but one stray
lock insists on dropping to his forehead. The scent of his cologne adds to
his clean cut image. He is dressed up enough to make a companion feel
important, respected, loved. Yet he is not so formal as to make one
uncomfortable. It seems that he has taken every precaution to make others
feel at ease with him.

Still, he sits alone.

The waiter returns to fill the man's coffee cup. "Is there anything else I
can get for you, sir?"

"No, thank you."

The waiter remains standing at the table. Something tugs at his curiosity.
"I don't mean to pry, but..." His voice trails off. This line of
conversation could jeopardize his tip.

"Go ahead," the man encourages. His is strong, yet sensitive, inviting

"Why do you bother waiting for her?" the waiter finally blurts out. This
man has been at the restaurant other evenings, always patiently alone.

Says the man quietly, "Because she needs me."

"Are you sure?"


"Well, sir, no offense, but assuming that she needs you, she sure isn't
acting much like it. She's stood you up three times just this week."

The man winces, and looks down at the table. "Yes, I know."

"Then why do you still come here and wait?"

"Cassie said that she would be here."

"She's said that before," the waiter protests. "I wouldn't put up with it.
Why do you?"

Now the man looks up, smiles at the waiter, and says simply, "Because I
love her."

The waiter walks away, wondering how one could love a girl who stands him
up three times a week. The man must be crazy, he decides. Across the room,
he turns to look at the man again. The man slowly pours cream into his
coffee. He twirls his spoon between his fingers a few times before
stirring sweetener into his cup. After staring for a moment into the
liquid, the man brings the cup to his mouth and sips, silently watching
those around him. He doesn't look crazy, the waiter admits. Maybe the girl
has qualities that I don't know about. Or maybe the man"s love is stronger
than most. The waiter shakes himself out of his musings to take an order
from a party of five.

The man watches the waiter, wonders if he's ever been stood up. The man
has, many times. But he still can't get used to it. Each time, it hurts.
He's looked forward to this evening all day. He has many things, exciting
things, to tell Cassie. But, more importantly, he wants to hear Cassie's
voice. He wants her to tell him all about her day, her triumphs, her
defeats....anything, really. He has tried so many times to show Cassie how
much he loves her. He'd just like to know that she cares for him, too. He
sips sporadically at the coffee, and loses himself in thought, knowing
that Cassie is late, but still hoping that she will arrive.

The clock says nine-thirty when the waiter returns to the man's table. "Is
there anything I can get for you?"

The still empty chair stabs at the man. "No, I think that will be all for
tonight. May I have the check please?"

"Yes, sir."

When the waiter leaves, the man picks up the check. He pulls out his
wallet and signs. He has enough money to have given Cassie a feast. But he
takes out only enough to pay for his five cups of coffee and the tip. Why
do you do this, Cassie, his mind cries as he gets up from the table.

"Good-bye," the waiter says, as the man walks towards the door.

"Good night. Thank you for your service."

"You're welcome, sir," says the waiter softly, for he sees the hurt in the
man's eyes that his smile doesn't hide.

The man passes a laughing young couple on his way out, and his eyes
glisten as he thinks of the good time he and Cassie could have had. He
stops at the front and makes reservations for tomorrow. Maybe Cassie will
be able to make it, he thinks.

"Seven o'clock tomorrow for party of two?" the hostess confirms.

"That's right," the man replies.

"Do you think she'll come"" asks the hostess. She doesn't mean to be rude,
but she has watched the man many times alone at his table for two.

"Someday, yes. And I will be waiting for her." The man buttons his
overcoat and walks out of the restaurant, alone. His shoulders are
hunched, but through the windows the hostess can only guess whether they
are hunched against the wind or against the man's hurt.

* * * * * * *

As the man turns toward home, Cassie turns into bed. She is tired after
an evening out with friends. As she reaches toward her night stand
to set the alarm, she sees the note that she scribbled to herself last
night. '7:00,' it says. 'Spend some time in prayer.' Darn, she thinks. She
forgot again. She feels a twinge of guilt, but quickly pushes it aside.
She needed that time with her friends. And now she needs her sleep. She
can pray tomorrow night. Jesus will forgive her.

And she's sure He doesn't mind.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Well, two weeks ago I told our homestudy coordinator that our clearances should be arriving soon. She said as soon as they come in, mail them to her at her home address (so she would get them sooner) and she would assign us a social worker right away. So I paid $20 to overnight the documents to her, you know to speed things up a bit, and I haven't heard a word since. She did email to say she received the documents, but that was it.

I guess her idea of "right away" and mine, are different. I didn't expect her to drop what she was doing, but I thought I would hear by now.

I guess I am just a little frustrated. Once we were accepted into the China program, if took her three weeks to contact me. When she did, it was just to email a list of things I needed to collect. It took her three weeks to email me a list, that was an attachment (already written). So do I get to sit for three weeks before she can pass me off to someone else (social worker)? She isn't the one actually doing the homestudy, she is just the coordinator.

The process is long enough as it is. I mean come on. I have been trying to move forward with this adoption for nearly THREE MONTHS (if you count signing with the other agency, then switching). I am no closer today than I was three months ago.

I am sorry to be so negative. It is just difficult. I have tried so hard to get all the documents done, ready and notarized. I just thought by now we would have had something happening. My prayer is that I hear from our agency early this week (UGH we lose a day tomorrow!) to schedule our homestudy. I don't believe I have unrealistic goals. Ideally, I would like to have all four visits done before we go to Florida on the 27th. I don't expect the report to be done, but at least the visits. Is that out of the question? Oh I hope not!