My Sweet Son

I have an incredible desire to say, My sweet son I love you. Even though I don't yet know you I know you are meant to be in our family. Even though I have not seen you ...you are beautiful in my eyes. My heart longs for you and my hope is that you will be with us soon. I pray for you every night that you will know how much you are loved. I can't wait to hold you in my arms and kiss your forehead, hold your hand and tickle your feet. I will be patient as God weaves us together according to his plan but my heart will continue to long for you until you are home.


Waiting Mailing #1

Any communication from our agency always gets me very excited. Today I received an email that was titled Waiting Mailing #1. I am assuming since I have not received any correspondence since 8/20 that this means we have moved from one point to another in their system.........small step but still one worth getting excited about. I don't know how many mailings there are or how often they may come but this first one is on transracial and transcultural adoptions.

Russ and I attended the Fellowship 686/Ethiopian group get together yesterday. It was so fun to see all the children who have come home and hear their wonderful stories. The get together reminded me of the song Jesus loves the little children........ red and yellow, black and white they are precious in his site.....was truly the picture on the playground.

God has placed the following (very common) story on my heart the past several days. It is one of my favorites buy I am not sure why it keeps coming into my thoughts so regularly the past few days. I can only guess that maybe someone else is needing to hear it or it is suppose to be part of our story. Here goes

The Starfish Story
One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the oean. Approaching the boy he asked, "What are you doing?" The youth replied, " Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them back, they will die."
"Son", the man said "don't you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can't make a difference!"
After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said, " I made a difference for that one."

I just love that story. Everyone can make a difference!

Have a great week,


2 months down....

Actually I am posting one day early but tomorrow is the 20th which means we have been on the waiting list officially for two months! The wait was 5-7 months and is now 6-8 months but either way we are getting closer. There has not been much news from the agency but that is to be expected right now. I think the next step will be that we will receive an "on-deck" email. Once you receive this email it is about 1-2 months until you receive a referral. I know it is a bit early but I still get excited when I see an email come through from AWAA.

Last week was an extremely difficult week and we are still grieving for our sweet friend Hallee and praying for her family. Thank goodness for their faith and our faith it truly is what gets us through day to day and have hope. The funeral was so sweet and Brooke did an incredible job speaking (as did everyone)- I know Hallee is proud of her.

Praying for a peaceful week,


Our Sweet Hallee.

It has been several days since I have posted because we have had a terrible loss in our lives. Brooke's best friend Hallee Cartwright passed away on Friday October 9th and it has devastated not only us but everyone who knew her. We had a wonderful weekend with her last weekend celebrating Brooke's birthday...a fun mother/daughter dinner on Monday night. Hallee became ill on Wednesday and although her mom had her at the doctors Wednesday and Thursday by Thursday night Hallee was critically ill. She had been diagnosed with the flu but somehow her mom knew it was more than that and late Thursday night took her to the hospital. Hallee passed away around 6am on Friday morning and it is a fact I still cannot seem to grasp even as I sit here typing.

Brooke, Hallee and Hannah have been BFFs since Hannah and Hallee were in kindergarten and for Brooke since she started PCA in fourth grade. The girls loved being together it really didn't matter what they were doing and we as parents knew there was never having just two of them...it was the three no matter what. The girls have shared so many wonderful times with school, sports, sleepovers, vacations, etc. I am so happy that they have so many wonderful memories and yet overcome with grief. As you parents know...your child's best friends become your children and Russ and I both feel a tremendous loss.

I have to ramble a little and tell you a story about Rhonda (Hallee's mom). Rhonda is an incredible person and has been such a good friend to me. I remember when we first started PCA and not only did Brooke and Cole not know anyone I didn't know many folks myself. I was sitting on the basketball floor waiting for practice to be over for Brooke and the nicest lady came right over in her work attire and sat down, introduced herself and said we will have to get our girls together. Brooke had been feeling a little "too new" at school but not for one day after this. Hallee and her friend Hannah took Brooke in and never looked back. Rhonda also took me in and as two working moms at the time we had an instant connection. We spent a week in a hotel room with the three girls last year on a school field trip to DC and truly had as much fun as the girls did. Rhonda's heart showed through in Hallee and vice versa. Des (Hannah's mom) and I were constantly giving our girls a hard time about be more like Hallee or have Hallee's manners, etc.

Because I always like telling Caroline stories I want to mention what she told me as we layed down tonight to go to bed. Today was the first day back to school and the school had grief counselors and the teachers did a great job talking to the kids...so when I asked Caroline about her day she said they had talked about Hallee and that she had raised her hand to speak. I asked her what she asked or said and she said that she would really miss Hallee because Hallee was her sister Brooke's best friend and that she was her best friend also. It made me smile and think about how many people refer to Hallee as their best friend...pretty much anyone who knew her from very young to very old. Hallee had a way of making you feel so special.

So as I am typing I feel that I have not done near good enough job explaining the sweet heart to anyone who did not know Hallee but she was a true angel. The joy she brought to my Brooke's heart and the friendship they have will not end on last Friday yet simply take another form and the things Brooke learned from her and the memories she has will last forever until they meet again.......to laugh and laugh and laugh.

Please pray for Hallee's family specifically for her mom Rhonda, her father Keith and sister Hannah C. and all their extended family. Please pray for Brooke and Hannah S. and all of Hallee's great friends. Thanks,



I am posting several blogs because one I want to catch up and two I am in the hotel with three sleeping girls and it is very quiet! I must thank my sweet Aunt Jane for letting us stay at the hotel...it is always so nice and so easy! Had dinner with her and my awesome cousin Kelli last night...we had so much fun, I love being with them both.

About 2loveorphans.........My friend Tracy and I both have a heart for orphans and feel that God is calling us to be his hands here on earth to help their cause. Tracy adopted from China four years ago and I am in the process of adopting from Ethiopia. At an adoption Gala event in Nashville we were both moved to do more. I in fact told my sister on the phone that night that I was ready to adopt six or more but seeing as how there are 147 million orphans Tracy and I decided that we should do something that would help more children even if it meant we did not adopt more ourselves. With that thought and some brainstorming we came up with the idea to start an organization/partnership/mission/effort called 2loveorphans.com
We even have a mission statement...
2loveorphans.com (2LO) is an organization that longs to be a part of helping defend, rescue and deliver orphans from their distress. God promises to set the lonely in families and 2LO wants to be a part of His plans for the orphan and encourage others to do the same.

In a nutshell we just want to encourage others to speak up for and pray for the orphans...they are real children with real stories and real hearts....they may be far away but they are part of our world and our lives. Not all are called to adopt but all are called to care.

This website has been so much fun to create...it is still in a draft format but you can go to it and check it out. Let me know your thoughts....

Happy Birthday my sweet Brooke -13

Today is Brooke's 13th birthday and it is quite fitting that we are in Knoxville. She was born at the UT hospital at 8:24am and I quietly went into her room this morning and kissed her forehead. I brought her and two of her sweet friends, Hannah and Hallee, up to Knoxville to experience a UT ballgame. It is beautiful fall weather and I know will be such a great day. Russ, Cole and Caroline are headed up to meet us as soon as Caroline's game soccer game is over. It was my dad's birthday yesterday, my nephews birthday tomorrow and my brother's the following day..........what a weekend to celebrate! I will post a picture or two once I get home to my computer.

The adoption conference call was good. No really new information but nice to hear about things going on with the agency and in Ethiopia from an official source. Courts have been delayed re-opening for a week which I hate for so many families who have received referrals but it does not exactly affect our situation.

We are looking and praying about some children on the waiting list (this is children who are either older or possibly have a medical condition). There is a precious little four year old boy that we were talking about .....I went to have lunch with a friend about my 40th birthday and they were considering the same boy....they are actually on the list to review his file behind one other family. How wonderful is that! This little boy has so many people praying and wanting him....I hope somehow in his heart he knows he is already loved.

Not sure what the next step or update will be on our adoption...the waiting time goes stretches without much update....