Saturday, December 27, 2008

::First Christmas!::

This Christmas was doubly special. Not only was it Christmas - it was our FIRST Christmas with KJ! He is 8 months old now and still didn't quite grasp what opening presents was, nor the meaning of Christmas, but he did enjoy all the wrapping paper!

We had a great time with Kevin's parents in Philadelphia. We also got to see Great Grandma Lola, cousin Mimi, Aunt Karin and Aunt Malinda! KJ really, really loves his cousin Mimi! She loves to baby him too. I'll have to get a good picture of them together before we leave.
Christmas makes me so glad to have KJ in our lives, but at the same time makes me sad for his first mom who is missing all this. I know the love she has for him and if circumstances were different he would be with her and not us. I just have to trust that God is sovereign and knows what He is doing. This little boy is part of our family now and forever. And for that I am so grateful. Adoption is definitely a tough row to hoe and I'm sure many people wonder why on earth we purposely CHOSE this path. But when all is said and done it is because of our love for this child and any other whom God choses to place in our lives through His plan. What KJ has given to us and our family is so much more than what we can ever give him.
MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone from our family to yours!

Friday, December 19, 2008

::KJ's First Snow::12/19/08::

KJ and I had a great time in the snow today. While daddy was shoveling we played around a bit. KJ has never seen snow before. He was born at the end of April so the snow was all dried up by then! He seemed to like it, but also seemed a little confused. He kept looking up, let it hit him in the face, and then would shake his head. The bad news is I think this is the first and last time he's going to wear that snowsuit. It's already too small! :(

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

New post a-comin' right up!

Sorry all.  It's been a crazy week.  We spent the weekend out at Camp Ladore at the Salvationists of African Descent conference (our church is The Salvation Army for those of you who don't know.  And, YES it is a church! LOL Our founder branched off from the Methodist church in the late 1800's.  Wiki it if you want a history lessson. I am not the best source for that. :o) ).  Kevin was working and KJ and I were invited to come along.  It was GREAT!  I felt so blessed to be welcomed into the community and know that my son will have many positive uplifiting people in his life as he grows.  I saw many old friends and made many new ones.  By the end of the weekend KJ was being called "the community baby".  He was such a blessing to everyone there.  His gracious spirit and kind little heart are already aparent.  He is a people person just like his mommy!  It is great to watch.  Lord, thank you again for the gift of our son!!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

More new shoes.

So I went to a consignment shop today and found these itty bitty Nikes. How freaking cute are they? Thank God my obsession is a relatively cheap one! ($4 for the shoes) :)

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Little shoes.

I am admittedly obssessed with little baby size shoes. But how couldn't you be? How cute are his little faux Birks???

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Apple picking!

Yesterday KJ and I went apple picking with some friends.  We had a great time and KJ got his first taste of a "real" apple as opposed to applesauce.  He loved it!  I think he would've bit the heck out of that thing if he could!  Here are some pictures from our day...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Another oldie but goodie.

Here's another post from our old blog that I came across today. I like to go back and read my entries and see if I'm still in sync with where we were back then. This one is from a year or so ago (Aug. of 2007).

Since most of you reading this have probably not ever gone through the process of adoption I thought I’d share a little more about it. I’m finding the whole process really fascinating actually. In grad school (because I am a nerd at heart) I did an independent study on adoption. Mostly I read about identity and kinship issues. I found out some interesting things but going through the actual process, even at this early stage, has schooled me a lot more in adoption than reading ever could.
For instance, do you know that when you fill out your application to adopt you also (at least at our agency) have to fill out a “child matching” form? All these 4 pages are about it what “type” of child you are willing to adopt. Things that you never have to consider with a birth child. Will you take an infant from a mother who drank while pregnant? At the beginning of the pregnancy only? What about drugs? What if she has bi-polar? What if she doesn’t know who the father is? What if she hasn’t had access to adequate prenatal care? Check here for the ethnicity you will accept… African American, Caucasian, Hispanic, Asian, Middle Eastern, Caucasian/Hispanic, Caucasian/African American. And on, and on!
Crazy stuff, but necessary too I guess. Kevin and I really had to mull over some of the questions and others were no brainers for us. We checked every race but some of the other ones were tougher. How does one say well, you’re not worthy of being a part of my family because your mom messed up? Or because you just don’t look like us? Really heart wrenching stuff I tell you.
There is a website called This is a site for an adopting “referral” service. Basically it is a service for “situations” that agencies are having a hard time placing so a referral service is used to get the word out even further. It is so sad as I read through each situation on there. And that isn’t even all of the ones that are available! If my house were bigger and we had money to spare I think I might be tempted to take them all! :) Sadder still to me was when I went on a site yesterday that is solely parent profiles. These are couples or singles who are hoping to be matched with a birth mother and adopt her child. You can sort the families who want to adopt by the race they will accept. Well, check “caucasian” and over 300 families come up. Check “African American” and it is less than 50. I am not saying that Kevin and I are some kind of saints because we don’t care about the race of our child. It’s just sad that so many families want to adopt but our society has so ingrained in all of us that race is such a major issue that we’re only willing to accept children who look like us. And it’s not just us white folks. The African American community has made a stink for years that white families shouldn’t adopt black children. That they won’t know enough about their heritage if they’re raised by Caucasians. Everyone has some valid points, but when it comes to giving a home to a child who doesn’t have one… who really cares?!? As my dear friend Cindy would say, “it really makes my ovaltine boil!” :)
This ones for you Cin! MUAH!

So I went back and checked on again today to see if anything has changed in the last year. Sadly, nope! Still about the same ratio.

I strongly and more firmly believe now, even more so than I did a year ago, that adoption should be ONLY about finding homes for children. Not finding children for homes. It just seems that the whole adoption mentality is backwards. Are you adopting because a child needs a home or because you need a child? I think we all need to look at this and be honest with ourselves. I thought I had the right attitude but honestly, looking back I don't know if I totally did.

Certainly we were very open about race, but other things, not so much. I am embarrassed to say that now. I truly am. Did I miss out on a child for my family, and a family for that child, because I didn't trust that the Lord would not give us more than we could handle? If I had chosen to carry a child in my womb I certainly would not have had the choice of whether they had any disabilities or other issues. What gives me the right to chose that outside of my womb?

Ugh, I hate those child matching forms.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

KJ, the latest and greatest.

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Help a friend!

A dear on-line friend of mine just received a call that her first adopted child's natural-mom is due any day and would like them to also adopt this baby. Whoa! Nothing like short notice. ;-)

If you are able prayfully consider supporting this family monetarily, won't you? They have a very short time to come up with the money needed to update their homestudy. If you are not able to give right now, please support them in prayer.

Click here to read their story and donate.

Please also pray for this family who will be meeting their child for the first time today.

Pray especially for two moms who will be making some very difficult decisions over the next few days in both of these situations.

Friday, September 26, 2008

My blog list is growing!

I keep finding more and more blogs to "follow" and I LOVE IT! Most of my list are fellow transracial families. I love that. It makes me not feel so... well... different. God is so good! The internet isn't all bad.

Speaking of transracial adoption. I went back and looked over my old entries from our old blog. I found this gem from last August (2007):

"... I've been reading up a lot on trans-racial/interracial whatever you want to call it adopting. There is a fairly good chance that our child will not "look" like us and the world will wonder why. (Although I don't think it takes a genius to figure it out some people can just be ignorant and rude.) This makes me nervous, of course. I know that the Lord will give us the grace and strength to deal with it when the time comes. In more than one study researchers found that children who are adopted by parents of a different race actually adapt better than those who are adopted by parents of the same race. They found that these kids have no question that they were adopted (since they don't look like their parents) and therefore tend to deal with it earlier in life and basically get it over with. Well, who knows how accurate this actually is but I guess it offers some hope..."

So, now that we know for sure that our son does not "look like us" how have my fears played out? In many interesting and mostly entertaining ways actually. For instance, at two months old I took KJ to get his pictures professionally done. Next to us there was a mom and two young girls (probably about 8 and 5) who were Caucasian next to us waiting. As only a child can do the older girl looks at her mom and says, "That little boy is brown and his mommy is white. I don't understand how that can happen." (Gotta give her points for curiosity and bluntness.) To which her mom adeptly responded, "Well dear, let's talk about how that can happen. Maybe his daddy is brown or maybe he is adopted." Kuddos to mom for a good response and not shushing her daughter. It's nothing to be embarrassed about! I didn't say anything and acted like I didn't hear. But I thought it was a nice way for the mom to respond.

Yes, some folks have gawked or just given a curious glance. But the overwhelming response to our blended family has been positive. Many, many people want to come ooh and ahh over KJ (he is pretty darn cute!) and we don't mind. An online friend of mine once said that she believes that God has called some of us to transracial adoption as a way to be a witness for Him and break down some color barriers. May we only be worthy of being Christ's example...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Red Letters Campaign... Blog Buzz question of the week.

I have begun blogging for the Red Letters Campaign. Each week they have a "Blog Buzz" question that they ask you to answer to help others who may be considering adoption.  This weeks question is:

  • To Commit your heart or not?  There is much debate in the adoption world about when you throw your heart into the mix. . .upon first sight of that referral picture?  Or not until the court date?  Homecoming Date?  Share your thoughts and experience!
Our story is a bit different since we adopted domestically.  There was no "referral" - no pictures beforehand.  One day we were a family of two, the next (literally) we were a family of three.  We received a call on Thursday morning and KJ had been born the day before.  We had to travel out of state to meet him and stay in that state for about a week before we could return home.  He became our son the moment we got that first "call".  What is referred to in the domestic adoption world as "THE call".  So simple in words, but so complex in emotions.  We waited only a brief time (three months from approval) to be matched with our son.  Before that we had been matched with a potential expectant-mom and were out of the "waiting pool" for a monthSo if you take that month out we really only waited eight weeks.  

As for committing your heart? There is still a period of uncertainty in domestic adoption.  From KJ's birth to when mom signed TPR (Termination of Parental Rights) there was still a waiting period of seven days.  During that time S could have changed her mind at any time.  Lucky for us KJ was in interim care during this time. I know that some parents have taken the baby in only to have to return him or her.  We would have taken a "legal risk placement" but were relieved that we didn't have to. The one week of waiting was hard enough without even having ever seen a picture of him!

I don't think there is any such thing as "guarding your heart."  We were committed to our son from the moment we got that phone call.  He was ours in our hearts.  If S had changed her mind we would have hurt, for sure.  But not taking him into our hearts and family from that moment would have robbed us of the joy of planning for him regardless of what the outcome was.  We firmly believed that the Lord meant for him to be in our hearts and prayers even if was only for that one week.  I encourage you if you are waiting or have a referral do not put that child out of your mind for fear of pain.  The Lord will see you through even if your adoption does not go through with this child.  He has put that child in your life for this time for a purpose.  Perhaps it is just to shower him or her with prayers for a brief time. Perhaps it is to make them a permanent part of your family.  Do not second guess the sovreignty of God by hiding your heart.  He will protect you and your emotions.  Don't miss out on one second of love!

We did not end up parenting the first child we were matched with.  But I prayed over him or her for a month.  I still do pray for that child.  I would not have
wanted to miss that opportunity and the pain it caused us was worth it for the opportunity to cover that child and mom in prayer for that brief time.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Do you like my new hat?
Yes, my mother gets great joy out of torturing me...
Items of clothing that KJ has outgrown this month...
KJ and our dog Finnegan. They are the best of buds!
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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Five months old!

Today KJ turned 5 mos. old.  I cannot believe how fast these five months have gone.  People think I'm crazy but I really can't wait to adopt the next member of our family. If only our house were a bit bigger!