Friday, July 29, 2011


Here are a few of the clippies. I have a few more than this, but they are the same colors. I am trying to make more, but well... turns out, I am not so crafty! LOL!

The clippies have an anti slip strip attached inside. They are really so pretty! We are selling them for $3.00 each! Send me an email if you are interested! jackjujam at yahoo dot com!

Thanks! The t--shirts have been selling great! What a sweet blessing!

Thursday, July 28, 2011


This time last week, I was gearing up to meet my friend Ashley in Charlotte for the Beth Moore conference. We had a great time! Ashley has been a great friend to me this last year, and it was so great to spend some time with her.

The conference was awesome. Seriously, such a sweet time. There is just something about coming together with 9400 other women to study the bible with Beth Moore. The "theme" of the weekend was HOLD FAST. Hold fast to Jesus. She shared such a encouraging word from the bible and you could truly feel Jesus in our midst.

When I came home, I searched online for videos of Beth speaking. I found one and immediately watched it. I was blown away by something she shared - she was talking about Elizabeth and Zechariah. The main point in her study was what comes naturally or easily for some, has to come through miracles for others.  She used Elizabeth's pregnancy as an example. Wow. She went on to say that Elizabeth needed a miracle, and God blessed her with a pregnancy.  Well, we all know how her story played out. She gave birth to John the Baptist.

Would I choose the easy path? YES! Would I have chosen for our adoption journey to be so long and painful? Of course not. However, that is exactly the way it's been -  long and painful. I have to say though, I have come to a place in my relationship with Jesus that would not have been likely otherwise. A place of trust and peace.

I am one of those people that need a miracle. This adoption is not going to come easily or naturally for us. We need Jesus to intervene. You know what? When that miracle does come (because it IS coming, you know), it is going to be so much sweeter. Through it, Jesus will show us His glory like never before.

So would I have chosen it this way? No. Am I thankful and humbled His ways are not my ways? YES! I would live every day of this year over and over again, if through our journey, He is shown more Glorious than ever before!

**edited to add: Remember that post about spiritual warfare? Yeah. This week has been a doozy.

Brad was bitten by a black widow. He has been so sick from it.
Our A/C broke (still broken as we speak)
Jameson got sick

That's it for now... stay tuned. I am sure there will be more.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


A couple of weeks ago my friend, Kelly,  emailed me to ask if I would be interested in t-shirts that I could sell to help raise adoption funds. It sounded great, so she put me in touch with this sweet lady named Kris.

Kris is an adoptive mom herself. When they were raising funds to complete their adoption, they had these really cool t-shirts made. The t-shirts turned out so cute and have a great message! Anyway, Kris' family brought their daughter home and had a ton of t-shirts left over. I am still so humbled by this - Kris offered me ALL of them! For free! Seriously, guys how awesome is that?

On Wednesday, when I arrived home from my trip, there was two giant boxes waiting for me! Once I got the kids to bed, I tore into them! I was so excited!

I seriously had never seen so many t-shirts in one place in my life! They were even cuter in person than in the photo Kris shared. Another sweet blessing was included in the boxes! Kris was very successful in making adorable hair clippies, and she gave me all of her left over stuff! A ton of them were already made, and she included tons of stuff to make more. It seems pretty easy and they are super cute. As soon as Julianna saw them, she said, "OH! Those are gorgeous!" She begged me to let her have all of them! LOL! 

So because of someone's generous spirit and incredible talent, we get to raise more money for our adoption. How cool is that? Provision people. Jesus' sweet provision! 

So here's the deal:

The front of the tee says:


The back of the tee says;

to FOLLOW the ONE who made ME

How cool is that?? The shirts come in pink with brown writing or in black with white writing. They also come in two different styles. There is a classic tee and a ladies fitted tee. 

Just as an FYI - the classic tee runs a little big and the ladies fitted tee runs about a size smaller than normal. So if you order the ladies fitted tee and you wear a large, get extra large. 

We will be selling the shirts for $12.00! That is a total steal! We are just hoping to sell as many as possible. The more we sell, the closer we are to sweet Willa.  It is our goal to sell ALL of them!  If you are willing, please help spread the word! 

Also, the tees seem to be pretty good quality. I washed and dried one just to see if it shrunk, and I can say it appears to not have shrunk at all! They are soft and so so cute! 

If you want to order one, email me at jackjujam @ yahoo dot com. In the email, please let me know which color choice, style (fitted or classic) and size. I will email you back to let you know if we have it available. 

The sizes come womens fitted - small to extra large. The classic unisex tee comes small - 2X large. I do have a few kid sizes, too. 

We will also be selling and making hair clippies to sell! 

These two photos are just a small sample of what could be done. There are a ton of color, size and flower choices!! We are also going to be making some felt flower clippies. They really are adorable! I will get better photos in the next couple of days.  The hair clips also are lined, with a non slip strip added. 

We will be selling the clippies for $3.00 each. 

We are really excited and hope that we are able to use this generous gift to help raise money for our adoption. Like I said, I will get better photos soon! I will also try to get some photos of my family wearing our iChose shirts, so you can see how cute they look on!

We have been so humbly blessed by the adoption community. I can not wait to get home with Willa and start paying it forward! I hope to be able to bless someone else the way we have been blessed!

Please let me know if you would like to order a tee or a clippy! If you are willing, spread the word! I can't wait to see how God will bless the sale of these tees and clippies!

Monday, July 18, 2011


This past weekend, I packed up my little family, and headed to SC to visit my parents. We stopped in Rock Hill to meet up with my sweet baby sister for ice cream. It was close to 4 pm when we got back on the road. As I was leaving, I notice I have several missed calls and text messages. They were all from Brad, except one. One with an 703 area code.

I immediately knew it was my agency, but for some reason, instead of listening to my messages first, I called Brad. He said, "Michele! Where have you been? Melissa called with a referral!!!" I was in shock! So I immediate hung up and called Melissa.

Sure enough, there was a referral for us to review. I was cautiously optimistic, but scared out of my mind. She told me all about the little girl and everything sounded ok. So she forwarded me her file. Now keep in mind that I sit home, day in and day out. Never going anywhere except to church. I have been waiting on this call for months. Well, actually years. And when does it come? At 4 pm on a Friday afternoon when I am driving 80 miles an hour down the interstate.  Another doozy, my mom does not have internet access. So I had to rely on my phone all weekend to review the file, email doctors, stalk the net looking for any information I could find.

I tried to be social, considering I was suppose to be visiting my family, but all I could think about was this little girl. Her face was like a little angel's. So precious. Her needs scared me - they weren't something that we really felt comfortable with, but we kept hope in our hearts. We desperately wanted to hear good news when we spoke to the doctors.

Unfortunately, there was no good news. I think I knew in my heart that her needs were not going to be as cut and dry as I hoped. Deep down, I knew the doctor wasn't going to have anything positive to report. There were just too many red flags.

Turns out, our gut feelings were right. Her condition was not good. In any aspect. We had to decline the referral. I have cried off and on since. I guess, it just seemed so familiar. The heart ache, the guilt, the timing. The only difference this time was that I wasn't in China, alone.

We prayed and prayed and prayed. We just never could find that peace we needed to go forward. Then the doctors confirmed our fears, we knew that we just were not equipped to handle all of her needs.

It crushed me.

You want to hear how sweet my Heavenly Father is though? He knew our hearts were breaking. He knew that we worried that we just couldn't handle the emotional roller coaster of this journey. He knew we needed encouragement to keep fighting.

On Sunday morning, our church treasurer came up to Brad and said, "Merry Christmas in July" and handed him an envelope. In it was $1000. Can you believe it? Someone anonymously gave us this money. On the very same day that we felt like we were dying inside.

It was like Jesus was saying, "I am still working. I know it's hard! Keep fighting! You're almost there!"

Such a difficult weekend, yet it ended with His redeeming love and provision. You think His heart isn't for the orphan? You better believe it is!!

My baby is still waiting. When it is His time, we will find her. Until then, I will rest in His unfailing love! And I will be on my knees for the ones that have no mommy and daddy tonight.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


When we first bought our house, the realtor recommended we test for radon. Well, being from the beach, I had never heard of radon.  She explained that it is an odorless, colorless gas that comes from the earth. It can get trapped in your house and exposure can cause lung cancer. In fact, statistics show that it is the second leading cause of lung cancer, after smoking.

So we followed her recommendation and tested. Our levels were low enough to not have to worry about it. Great! Four years go by and I never give it another thought. Well, one night, Brad and I were watching TV and in the back ground of the program was a bunch of pamphlets. One of them had big letters on it RADON - HAVE YOUR HOME TESTED. As soon as I saw it, I thought, "Oh yeah, radon.", then immediately forgot about it again.

Well, being the freak o' nature that I am, always looking for something to fret about, I should have known my mind wasn't going to let that go. So there I was in bed that night,  wide awake, eyes huge with fear, thinking I was poisoning my children with toxic gas. I violently shook Brad awake, while screaming that we were killing our children made a mental note to mention it to Brad when he woke up.

The next morning, I asked him about it. No real shock here, but he told me I was coo-coo and to let it go.  Let it go? Let it go? Clearly he did not realize who he was talking to. I can't let anything go. I am a fretter. That is what I do.

Well, low and behold, I stumble across a Dr. Oz segment about the dangers of radon. Now you all know if Dr. Oz says it is a silent killer, by gosh, that makes it fact! So I continue my research ever convinced that we needed to pack up our belongings and head to the coast!

Then, then, I see my neighbor outside, so I run over to ask her what she thought of radon. Have they ever tested? She tells me (lord, my heart stopped) that they did indeed test when they bought their house. Their level came back high and they had some high tech mitigation system installed to filter their air.  Seriously at this point, I am about to soil my britches.

So I finally convince Brad to get a test kit from Lowe's. All the while, he is complaining that I am a nut job and that I need to see a shrink. He even suggests that maybe the "radon" has gotten to my brain. Oh so funny, that guy. Anyway, so we get the test. You have to leave it out for a minimum of 48 hours. Ok, done.

So during that 48 hours, I decided to stalk the internet and my other neighbors to see what I can uncover. Well, not a single person, other than my one neighbor had ever even heard of radon. Not my friends at church, not my family, none of my friends that live somewhat close.  Then I finally discover a study done on the internet. It said that if you have 1000 people that have never smoked, and you exposed them to a lifetime of radon, 3 of them would get lung cancer. Three. Out of 1000. That is less than 1%.

So I decided to step off of my crazy train, take a deep breath (of radon poisoned air) and let it go. I am not going to live in this house a lifetime. My family will not live in this house a lifetime. Not to mention we have tested - and it was low. The reports say as long as there hasn't been construction or an earthquake, the level is probably no different. I actually threw away our test kit.

So I am letting it go. Of course, the minute I say I am letting it go, I read a report saying you shouldn't give your kids fluoride. WHAT? The report says it crosses the blood brain barrier and can cause Alzheimer's. Well, great. The only thing my kids drink is city water. Fluorinated water.  So, yeah I have let the radon issue go. But....

I am not going to fret. I am not going to fret. I am not going to fret.

Monday, July 11, 2011


I am already over it. Done. Let's move on.

I don't mind the weather, I like it in fact. I am just over the lack of schedule. My kids have been buck wild this summer. LOL. During the school year, I really try to limit TV, video games, and computer time - we call it "screen time".  We allow it in the mornings, because they get up so stinkin early.  Then everything is powered down and isn't allowed to come on again until 4. They usually watch until Brad comes home (a little after 5), then we have dinner. By that time it's bath and bed. That works great for us during the year.

But then there is summer. Despite my thoughts on screen time, without it, I would go bananas. I have tried so hard to limit it, but there comes a time usually around 10 am, that I need it. They need it. LOL! Ok, maybe I can make it past 10am, but for sure around 2, I am ready for them to sit down and chill out.

Jackson has things he is responsible for - summer reading and piano, but those things do not take up much time. Julianna does a little bit of summer reading, but not much, and she has not started an instrument yet. Fortunately, though, she will play quietly in her room for a while. Then there is Jameson, my wild child. Jameson is by far, the loudest child on the planet.

Because of the volume of that child, the others compete for their voice to be heard. LOL! For example - Jameson right now is singing to the top of his lungs, "Hosannah to the Son of David! Hosannah to the highhhhhhhh-estttttttt!" In response to that, Julianna is blaring Third Day on her cd player. All while Jackson is doing his piano time. Seriously, could there be more noise?

On the flipside, at least they are entertaining themselves. I can not count how many times a day I hear, "Mom? MOOOOOOMMMMM? Mommmmaaaa? MOMMMMMYYYY?", "Jackson looked at me!" "Jameson kicked me!", "Julianna! Get out of my room!" And the crying? Oh precious lord, the crying. At what age do children stop crying over every little thing? I can tell you, it isn't 6.

Oh, and they are eating me out of house and home. I thought to help keep my sanity, I would create a "snack drawer". In the snack drawer are various single servings of crap. Listen, I am trying to survive here. There is no time for healthy options. Anyway, they are allowed to chose a snack in the morning and in the afternoon without asking.  Can I tell you how pricey and involved that little idea has become? Of course, at least they aren't asking me for food eleventy bajillion times a day. They do however ask for candy eleventy bajillion times a day. Because what do buck wild children need? That's right, sugar.

Praise sweet Jesus! It's 4 o'clock! Yay for screen time!!

How many more days until school starts? Oh that's right, we homeschool. I don't have to wait for the public school calendar. Would I be a horrible mother to make them do school in July?

Thursday, July 7, 2011


I mention in a previous post about emailing my agency asking them to give it to me straight. I actually got an email back that same day.

I was really encouraged by the email. I know it is very hard to remotely guess when we may receive a referral There truly are so many factors - our special needs list, our log in date, how many families are in the program, the lists that are coming from the CCCWA, etc... there is just no way of knowing.

My family coordinator did tell me that we are open to some things that not many other families are open to, so that does put us at an advantage. She also told me that based on my list and LID, there is a possibility of a match with each list that is released. However, she can not control what is released - how many kids, what their needs may be, etc. I totally get that.

She did say that while we could get matched at any time, it would probably be best to plan for the referral taking a little bit of time. Maybe later this year, into next even. Honestly, I am completely ok with that. "Into next" sounds like January or February. If February is my worst case timeline wise, then I have complete peace with that. In the grande scheme of things, that is only 7 months from now. If that would the case, we could still have Willa home this time next year.

I am choosing to look at this with a glass half full mentality. If the next year goes by as quickly as this past year, then my girl will be home before I know it. Also, it would just give me a chance to save more money. I simply have to bring my family with me when its time to travel. I simply have to. So, time is my friend.

One more thing. No matter what - my God is bigger than any of this. B.I.G.G.E.R. He is bigger than America World. He is bigger than the "list". He is bigger than the infamous CCCWA. He is bigger. He has a plan. He has ordained this from the beginning of time. He knows the day that phone will ring. He knows because HE planned it. If He if wants it to be today, nothing will stand in His way. If He wants it to be July 7, 2012, then I accept that too. His ways are perfect.

I have complete peace in that!

Now someone remind me of this right before the next list comes out, would ya? Great thanks! LOL!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


This past week has been rough. Between the health issues, stress and totally feeling deflated, it was all too much. Let me back track to Monday (the 27th).  I am going to try to keep this short, but bear with me. It gets better.

So Monday - the day of the list. I had convinced myself that we were going to get a call. Not only had I convinced myself that we would get a call, I convinced myself that Jesus was whispering to me that it was going to happen. I spent a lot of the day in prayer. I just *knew* it was going to be it!

It didn't happen.

On Tuesday, I was crushed. Not so much crushed that we didn't get a call, but crushed that I was so wrong. How could it be? How could I have misinterpreted everything? Doubt began to creep in. Major doubt that scared me to death. Was I not as close to my Savior as I thought? Have I been wrong this whole time? What if He had turned His back on me? I was really, really struggling.

Every time I tried to pray, I would think, what's the point? He isn't hearing me. Or He is hearing me but doesn't care.  I can tell you that Satan was super close to me those days. He was whispering those lies to me and convincing me they were real.

After a couple of days of wallowing in self pity, something dawned on me. When things didn't go my way, I was very quick to "blame" God. I was disappointed and let down, and it was all His fault. I turned on him in an instant when He didn't respond the way I wanted.  That broke my heart.

I began to realize that He was indeed speaking to me last Monday. He was encouraging me and lifting me up. I am the one that read it all wrong. It was MY fault that I manipulated it all to be the answer that I wanted. So I alone, set myself up to be disappointed. 

I am doing a bible study right now that has really spoken to me these last few days. On day ONE (!), it talks about how Jesus said, " I am THE way." He does not say, "Let me show you the way.", or "Hey, here's a map for the way, complete with all the details you will need." He simply says He is THE way. It went on to give examples of times in the bible that God or Jesus simply said, "Follow me." There were no further instructions. No promises of happy times. No guarantees that things would be wonderful and work out just like we hoped. 

So it made me think - when Jesus called us on this journey, did he give me a detailed map? No. He just said adopt. He did not tell me that the road would be great! Or that everything would be rosy. Am I not willing to be obedient if the journey does not look like I think it should?

One thing I know - He is faithful. He is trust worthy. I am grateful that this journey isn't looking like I thought it would. I am grateful that HE is the way. He is in control. He has ordained this journey and He has hand picked the little girl that is suppose to be my Willa. Clearly she (or we) is not ready. It isn't our time. I still trust Him. He sees the big picture. He knows each detail. I can only see this moment. If it takes a day or a year, when He says its time, then it's the perfect time. I will wait for Him. 

I will wait for Him with joy in my heart. Because you know what? He is enough for me. If I never have more than I have in this moment (or if God forbid, I have less), He is enough. And I am grateful that He doesn't hold it against me when I am so quick to blame Him. Or turn from Him. I pray that as I grow in my relationship with my Savior, those times will be less and less. Because He will become More and More. 

I also have an update from my agency, but that is a whole other blog post. I will share that one later.